Reading in Daniel this morning. Love the guy! Have always wanted to be like him. The model of what it means to be in the world but not of the world. Honors God at a young age by determining not to defile himself even though he is in the king’s court. Honored by God at a young age as he is given favor in the sight of his handlers and then enabled with talents and abilities that will propel him to places of power in the king’s court. Faithfully serves his “employer,” faithfully serves his God. But when the requirements of his secular job conflict with the responsibilities of his divine calling, no contest–divine calling wins. Even if it costs him everything (Daniel 6).
Like I said, you gotta love the guy!
And what grabs me this morning is that this guy is so grounded on earth because he so has his head in the clouds.
The repetition is impossible to miss in Daniel chapter two. It creates an underlying rhythm, a sort of cadence, that serves as a back beat as the drama plays out. Though things seem to be unraveling, it is obviously the anchor. Five times the phrase is repeated. Five times the reality is made clear. Our God is the God of heaven.
A crazy king has a crazy dream and makes a crazy demand of his advisors. Daniel tells his friends to pray and to “seek mercy from the God of heaven” (2:18).
Daniel stands before the crazy king concerning the crazy dream. The king demands, tell me what you know. Daniel says, I know nothing. “But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (2:28).
Daniel interprets the dream. A dream of kingdoms rising and falling. A dream sent to inform the crazy king that he is only king over his powerful nation and a king of kings because the God of heaven has given him “the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory” (2:37). A dream given to reveal to the king that while his kingdom and all subsequent kingdoms will eventually fall, “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed . . . and it shall stand forever (2:44).
And so Daniel, though dealing with the troubles of earth, has his head in the clouds.
Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said: “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 . . .”
(Daniel 2:19b-23a ESV)
Times and seasons may change on the earth, but it is all by the hand of the God of heaven. Kings will come and go, and this is by the sovereign determination of the God of heaven. Wisdom is given to the wise, and knowledge to those with understanding, but this too is sourced according to the will and purposes of the God heaven.
Want to make sense of the affairs of man? We need to be like Daniel. Long to make sense of our own affairs at times? Being like Daniel will help there too. We need our head in the clouds, knowing afresh that our God is the God of heaven.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
(Colossians 3:1-2 ESV)
For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
(2Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV)
Being so heavenly minded that, by God’s enabling, we might be of some earthly good.
Blessed be the God of heaven!
Because of His unfailing grace. All for His unfading glory.