..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Daniel Bible Study: Daniel 2: Dealing with Nebuchadnezzar

Have you ever worked for a boss that was just
impossible to please? Do you face difficult
people and difficult relationships? The Book
of Daniel has much wisdom to help you in
dealing with difficult situations in your life.

Daniel served the difficult, angry, impulsive
King Nebuchadnezzar. The King had a
disturbing dream that he could not completely
remember. He did not know what it meant.
He appealed to the dream interpreters of
His kingdom but they could not help him
because he wanted to know not only what the
dream meant, but what it was that he had dreamed.

When they could not do this, he ordered
them all to be killed. When the executioner
came to Daniel, to kill him, Daniel had
to spring into action.

In this bible study we are going to examine
how Daniel dealt with this very difficult
situation. There are some important
principles that can be gleaned and applied
to your life situation.

First, Be up to date with God (Daniel 1:8).
Daniel was prepared. He was ready.
When the executioner came for Daniel he
was already right in his heart toward God.
He did not have time to work on getting
things straight with God. We cannot
ignore our relationship with God and
expect to be ready at a moment's notice
to meet extreme difficulties.

Daniel asked for some time to pray.
No doubt he had precious little time
to come up with this dream and its
interpretation. Nebuchadnezzar was
not known for his patience. His lives
and the lives of all the other
dream interpreters in Babylon were
at stake.

2) Choose praying friends.(Daniel 2:17,18)
Daniel asked his close circle to
pray also. We need the support and
prayers of our trusted friends to
help us through difficult times.
It is important to choose those
friends wisely. Choose friends that
pray, whose lives are right with God,
and who can hold a confidence. They will
aid you greatly in your trial.

3) Have a heart to intercede for others.
(Daniel 2:17,18)

Daniel's heart was to go to the King on
behalf of himself and others. Only God
can give you this heart. Often when
we are in trouble we think only of
ourselves. Daniel, of course, wanted
to live, but he was looking out
for all of his associates, even though
many did not know or believe in the God of
Israel. He could have just sought to spare
only his own life, but he interceded for
them all.

4) Seek mercy from God. (Daniel 2:18)
Daniel did not pray "against" Nebuchadnezzar.
He did not rail against the king even
though the king was being unreasonable.
Daniel sought mercy. So, too, should
we seek mercy when we intercede for others.

5) Seek for wisdom and knowledge (Daniel 2:20-23).
God will give us the wisdom and knowledge
that we need as we seek Him. He is a God
who answers us and teaches us and guides
us with His eye. He tells us what way to
go. Praise Him!

6)Wait expectantly for God to answer and
know that He will speak. (Daniel 2;27-30)

Daniel knew and expected that God would answer.
He had already announced to the king that
God was able to tell him what the dream was.
While we pray, we must look expectantly
to God and not be discouraged. God's
answer sometimes seems slow to arrive,
but it will surely come to us.

7)When God answers, return thanks to Him.
(Daniel 2:20)

It is always right to thank God for helping us.
We must not forget to thank God for hearing us
and answering our cries.

8)Approach others TACTFULLY with the wisdom
God gives you. (Daniel 2:14, 37,38)

Daniel approached the King with great tact.
God may reveal things to us, but we need to
also pray about how to communicate what it
is that God tells us. We need to consider
how important it is that the person receive
what God has said. Let us not cause others
to reject the Word of God by handling it
poorly and causing others to stumble over it.
We cannot compromise what God tells us, but
we can say it kindly, in love, with mercy
and compassion. God's words are meant to
bring life, not condemnation.

As we read through this story, let us apply
this to our own lives. Where is this
situation in our lives? Who is our Nebuchadnezzar?
Am I ready and prepared for whatever battle
comes my way? Am I like the 5 wise virgins who
had their oil lamps full? Or the 5 foolish
ones who were unprepared? Is my heart to
intercede and to show mercy or will people
perish because I do not care to seek God?
Am I expressing thanks to God, even in
a difficult situation? Am I being sensitive
in bringing other people the words that God
reveals to me?

I cannot imagine that any of our situations
are worse than Daniel's as he faced this King.
Let us take his example to heart and
always be ready, in season and out of season,
to intercede on the behalf of others.
Someday, our own life may depend upon it.

(This is part of a series on the Book
of Daniel. Other studies are filed
in the archives under "Daniel Bible Study")

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