RRF . . . Rerun Friday. It’s a thing. Actually, it’s not a thing. But this morning it will be. Here’s some thoughts on my opening reading in Daniel from 10 years ago.
The story is classic . . . King eats too much before bedtime . . . king goes to sleep . . . supper starts fighting back . . . king has weird dream . . . king calls his magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers . . . king tells them the weird, digestive induced visions he had during the night . . . the court jesters get all creative and come up with a good tale on what the king’s dream means . . . king feels important that even his cramped colon can produce such great truths . . . king’s counselors feel important that they could be so wise as to interpret gastric goings on . . . game, set, match . . . we’ll play again another day. But in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign (Daniel 2:1), the rules of the game were to take a sudden change . . . and the stage was set to introduce to a pagan king a Revealer of Mysteries
On that night, the dreams was different. They were vivid and they were troubling to the core. Not just about some tossing and turning, but shake-you-to-your-core frightening, so that there was no sleep to be had. And the king wanted answers . . . no game playing . . . he wanted the truth . . . he wanted to understand what it was all about and so, he called his “wise men” to him and required that before interpreting the dream that they demonstrate they were really in the know by first recounting the dream to him. Nope . . . uh, uh . . ain’t going to happen . . . “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh” (Daniel 2:10-11).
Well, they got it part right . . . no man was going to meet the king’s test. But, there is a God who dares to dwell among flesh . . . the God who seeks to redeem those He created in His own image . . . the God who desires to tabernacle with His people . . . the God of heaven . . . the God who is a Revealer of Mysteries.
If you go just on repetition alone, the core message of Daniel 2 has got to be that the God of heaven (2:18, 19, 28, 37, 44) is a Revealer of Mysteries (2:19, 28, 29, 47). Sure, we can get caught up with Daniel’s prophetic interpretation of the the king’s dream, but if we step back just a bit, how amazing is it that the God of heaven has determined to reveal the secrets of heaven to mere mortals? I’m thinkin’ pretty amazing!
I can be so comfortable with the concepts of the faith . . . that Christ is God come in the flesh . . . that Jesus died and rose again the third day as an atoning sacrifice for all my sin — past, present, and future . . . that righteousness is credited to all who believe Jesus is the Lamb of God and own Him as Lord of All . . . that Jesus is even now preparing a place for us and that our mortal bodies will give way to immortality . . . and the list goes on.
But this morning “comfort” gives way to awe. That the God of heaven . . . He whose ways are higher than my ways . . . He whose thought are so beyond anything I could conceive . . . that He would reveal, by His grace, the secrets of the kingdom to a person of darkened understanding . . . that He would illuminate our minds to grasp in some measure such out-of-this-world revelation.
It occurs to me, that by God’s grace, I’m kind of like Daniel in that the God of heaven has revealed to me deep and profound mysteries . . . that, by His grace, He has given me the mind of Christ (1Cor. 2:16) . . . that, through His abiding Spirit, He leads me into truth.
Oh, that I might respond like Daniel and bless the God of heaven . . . the Revealer of Mysteries!
“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 2:20-22 ESV)