My Wednesday night kids and I began a new study last night. They wanted to tackle Revelation next, (mostly because my son wants to draw the monsters described) so we started with Daniel to give a framework. I want them to get the big picture for prophecy and not just parade a succession of beasts past them. So, we studied Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great statue with the golden head.
If you’ve not read the story in a while, it’s the one where the king has this dream that completely freaks him out. He’s no fool either. He knows that his wise men can come up with a decent interpretation given a chance, so to make sure they are telling him the real interpretation, he demands they tell him the dream first. Of course no one can tell what someone else dreamed. (We tried this last night- it was funny for the kids to try to guess dreams, although once they knew the dreams, they had some convincing interpretations.) God not only told Daniel the dream AND the meaning behind it, He revealed what the king was pondering before he dropped off to sleep.
Prophecy aside, there are some powerful lessons that struck me as I recapped the story.
1. There are some things only God can do. (like reveal and interpret dreams or the lay out the future)
2. Enlist prayer partners. Daniel’s first move was to get his friends praying for him. (2:17-19)
3. Sometimes He goes beyond what we ask Him for. (like detailing what the king was thinking about)
4. God is sovereign over the affairs of men. 2:21 says God sets up and removes kings. We may never grasp why He chooses some rulers, but He does choose.
5. God knows the future.
6. God wants us to know. Daniel 2:30 says, ‘but for our sakes…’ and ‘that you may know’. Granted, God doesn’t tell us everything, or the daily details, but He lets us know there is a greater purpose, an overarching plan to all of this.
It’s challenging enough for me to plan out a year of school lessons. (My battle this week) What a God we serve who “reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness and light dwells with Him.”