In Daniel 2, a deadly decree was issued. The wise men of Babylon were collectively condemned and sentenced to death for their perceived failure to faithfully serve the king, Nebuchadnezzar.
They were unable to make sense of the king’s troubling dreams. But even that isn’t the whole story. In a mistrust-motivated move, Nebuchadnezzar demanded that these sages do their work “blindfolded”–he would not tell them the content of the dream. They were to provide him with both the material and the meaning.
Daniel learned all this, only once the arrest warrant was already at his door. Requesting time to pray, he and his faithful friends–Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah–sought revelation from the God of heaven.
How would you prayer go if your life depended upon receiving an answer you could not begin to dream up? (The next question might be: What keeps you from always praying with that sense? But that’s another post.)
Daniel and his friends pleaded for nothing less than divine revelation. And it was received!
Their rightful response:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you,for you have made known to us the king’s matter.” (Daniel 2:20-23)
God’s role as Revealer is wondrous! My experiences with revelation–albeit not exactly of visions interpreted–have astounded me in a couple ways:
God’s provision is precise.
Both timely and measured, divine revelation is not unlike the message Neo receives from the Oracle, in the Matrix. On one level, it appears inadequate and inconsequential, even unhelpful. On another level, it is exactly–and not a hair more–what he needs to take his next step.
God’s means are many.
A friend’s words, a Scripture message, song lyrics, movie lines, and more–sometimes it’s actual words expressed, other times the truth is found in the spaces between those words. But the Living God has no need of language either. To me, He has also revealed through insights I could not generate, emotions I could not ignore, dreams I could not forget, and circumstances I could not concoct.
And every experience of revelation leads one into a Daniel-mode of worship, though seldom so vividly verbalized, for who cannot enter a mode of wonder at a One who knows all things and shares them succinctly yet shockingly when we seek Him?
Revelation is one of the wonders of the Christian experience, undeniable and unexplainable, a glorious form of spiritual feeding.
Those moments of seeing are a most beautiful thrill in one’s walk with the Unseen One.
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,to whom belong wisdom and might.