Sabbath, February 5, 2011
“… Them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” 1 Samuel 2:30.
A prompt answer to prayer
1. To whom did Daniel and his friends turn to have the secret revealed? What did the Saviour say about mutual prayer?
Daniel 2:17, 18 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
“To this request the monarch accedes; and now Daniel gathers his three companions, and together they take the matter before God, seeking for wisdom from the Source of light and knowledge. Although they were in the king’s court, surrounded with temptation, they did not forget their responsibility to God. They were strong in the consciousness that His providence had placed them where they were; that they were doing His work, meeting the demands of truth and duty. They had confidence toward God. They had turned to Him for strength when in perplexity and danger, and He had been to them an ever-present help.” –The Sanctified Life, p. 35.
“Together they sought for wisdom from the Source of light and knowledge. Their faith was strong in the consciousness that God had placed them where they were, that they were doing His work and meeting the demands of duty. In times of perplexity and danger they had always turned to Him for guidance and protection, and He had proved an ever-present help. Now with contrition of heart they submitted themselves anew to the Judge of the earth, pleading that He would grant them deliverance in this their time of special need.” –Prophets and Kings, pp. 493, 494.
2. How did the Omnipotent One answer their humble plea?
Daniel 2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
“And they did not plead in vain. The God whom they had honored, now honored them. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon them, and to Daniel, ‘in a night vision,’ was revealed the king’s dream and its meaning.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 494.
“Nehemiah humbled himself before God, giving Him the glory due unto His name. Thus also did Daniel in Babylon. Let us study the prayers of these men. They teach us that we are to humble ourselves, but that we are never to obliterate the line of demarcation between God’s commandment-keeping people and those who have no respect for His law.
“We all need to draw near to God. He will draw near to those who approach Him in humility, filled with a holy awe for His sacred majesty, and standing before Him separate from the world.” –(Manuscript 58, 1903) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 1136.
3. What was the first thing Daniel did after receiving the answer? What teaching of the apostle Paul should always be remembered?
Daniel 2:20-23 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.
Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“The Christian should live so near to God that he may approve things that are excellent, ‘being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ His heart should be attuned to gratitude and praise. He should be ever ready to acknowledge the blessings he is receiving, remembering who it is that has said, ‘Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me.’ ” –My Life Today, p. 153.
4. With what request did Daniel go to Arioch? What did Arioch do after receiving this good news?
Daniel 2:24, 25 Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation. Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.
“Wonderful is the work which God designs to accomplish through His servants, that His name may be glorified. God made Joseph a fountain of life to the Egyptian nation. Through Joseph the life of that whole people was preserved. Through Daniel God saved the life of all the wise men of Babylon. And these deliverances were as object lessons; they illustrated to the people the spiritual blessings offered them through connection with the God whom Joseph and Daniel worshiped. So through His people today God desires to bring blessings to the world. Every worker in whose heart Christ abides, everyone who will show forth His love to the world, is a worker together with God for the blessing of humanity. As he receives from the Saviour grace to impart to others, from his whole being flows forth the tide of spiritual life.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 227.
5. What anxious question did the ruler of the mightiest world empire address to Daniel?
Daniel 2:26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?
Humility and faith
6. How humbly did Daniel reply?
Daniel 2:27, 28 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these.
“Behold the Jewish captive, calm and self-possessed, in the presence of the monarch of the world’s most powerful empire. In his first words he disclaimed honor for himself, and exalted God as the source of all wisdom.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 494.
7. What promise is given to God’s humble children?
1 Peter 5:5, last part God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
“As God made known His will to the Hebrew captives, to those who were most separate from the customs and practices of a world lying in wickedness, so will the Lord communicate light from heaven to all who will appreciate a ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ To them He will express His mind. Those who are least bound up with worldly ideas, are the most separate from display, and vanity, and pride, and love of promotion, who stand forth as His peculiar people, zealous of good works–to these He will reveal the meaning of His word. The very first exhibition of God’s power to the Hebrew captives was in showing the defective wisdom of the great ones of the earth. The wisdom of men is foolishness with God. The magicians revealed their ignorance of the light before the Lord revealed His wisdom as supreme. The wisdom of human agents who had misappropriated their God-given talents, God showed to be foolishness.” –Counsels to Writers and Editors, pp. 101, 102.
For personal study
• The Acts of the Apostles, p. 13.