“He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.” Daniel 2:18
Saddam Hussein, the late, brutal dictator of Iraq, reportedly believed that he was the reincarnation of one of the most powerful ancient kings of Babylon – Nebuchadnezzar. He even named one of his Republican Guards divisions after him.
It is approximately 602 B.C. and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (in modern day Iraq) has conquered Jerusalem and brought some of the “best and brightest” young men back to Babylon to serve in his court in various roles. Four of these prisoners you may know – Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The king was particularly impressed with their knowledge and understanding and used them in the king’s palace as wise men.
King Nebuchadnezzar, in the second year of his reign, had a dream and called some of the wise men to him, demanding they interpret his dream without revealing what the dream was about – an impossible task. The king was furious they could not do what he asked and, in Daniel 2, the Bible tells us – “he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon.”
Searching for wise men, the commander of the king’s guard seeks Daniel and his friends to put them to death with all the others. Daniel requests a meeting with the king and the commander agrees. He presents himself before the king and asks for time to interpret this mysterious dream that Nebuchadnezzar has told no one about. Apparently, in desperation, the king concedes.
What do you think Daniel does? Tries to escape? Tricks the king somehow? No, he goes back to his three best friends and asks for prayer. “He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.” (Daniel 2:18)
What do you do when your situation is so desperate that it feels like life or death? Who do you turn to or where do you go when your life is turned upside down? Daniel had a choice – he could have used his own wisdom to get out of this horrific situation. Instead he turned to God in prayer and asked his friends to do the same.
The Bible tells us “during the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven…” After the vision, Daniel went back to the commander of the army who then took him to King Nebuchadnezzar to interpret the dream. Daniel 2:46-47 says, “Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. The king said to Daniel, ‘Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.’”
Do you have a need that only God can meet? He is waiting for you to come in humility and with great expectation to hear and answer you. Take your request to a trusted friend, ask for prayer, and see God work on your behalf. Then, like Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, lavish on Him the honor He deserves.