Dreams Interpreted by God through Daniel

Daily Reading: (Daniel 1:17):

“To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.”

What four young men are we talking about here? Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. I have heard of Daniel before but who are these other three? You have probably heard of them before by a different name.

“The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego” (Daniel 1:7). 

Daniel means  “God is my judge”  and his name was changed to Belteshazzar. Bel which is a name for the “various Babylonian gods” and teshazzar, “protects his life”.

Hananiah’s name means “God has favored”. His name was changed to  Shadrach which is “under the command of the Babylonian god Aku the god of the moon”.

Mishael’s name says, “Who is like God”? He had his name changed to  Meshach, “who is like Aku the Babylonian god of the moon”.

Azariah means  “God has helped”. Azariah was changed to Abednego,  “servant of Nebo the Babylonian god of wisdom”.

Their names were changed to try and obscure their identity and who God created them to be.

Now before we find out in verse seventeen what the Lord has given them, Daniel and the other three have a request not to eat the choice meat and wine that is given to them by the king. Their names have already been changed, to obscure who they are, and to try and lead them and others to worship and glorify the gods of Babylon. However, they make a stand. We are not going to forget who we are and eat the food sacrificed to these pagan gods. Their God-honoring choice begins to set the stage to reveal who the true God is. This is a risky choice as the official will tell Daniel in verse 10, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

So Daniel who the Lord has given great knowledge to has an answer to ease the king’s servant who is afraid that if he doesn’t follow the king’s orders will be killed. Daniel’s plan, “Let’s try it out for 10 days” (Daniel 1:12). Those who have tried a diet before know that ten days isn’t long enough for the results to be too drastic, but just long enough that you should start to see some results. “Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see” (Daniel 1:13).

Daniel was only 15 years old when he and his friends were taken captive and the Bible says in a short time, he refused to compromise with the Babylonian system, refused to eat the food offered to their gods. What is taking place is purposeful and will reveal the gifting God has placed inside of them. The same is true for you. Begin to see yourself in Christ, who is always flowing with divine wisdom, always in control of the situation, and the same wisdom that flows in Him will flow in and through you. “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God” (1 Corinthians 1:30). So, when situations that are puzzling occur remember who your wisdom is and where it flows from.

We all need the wisdom to overcome the challenges we face in life. But wisdom does not come unless we see our need for it.

Daniel 1:18-20 says, “At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.” Every single gift God has given to you in your life He has a plan to use it for your good and for His glory.

“In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means” (Daniel 2:1-3).

Every person the king summons cannot tell the king his dream. They are afraid because if they can’t do it they will be put to death. “The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks” (Daniel 2:10)!

These people are wicked, pagan, workers of the devil who have profited off of their mastery in dark arts, black magic, they have spoken the native language of their father the devil, when they said,”no one on Earth can interpret your dreams”. They are spiritually blind and what they speak is not true. But these dreams from God can be interpreted. The God-given dreams that you will have can be interpreted too.  God doesn’t give specific dreams for no purpose or interpretation.

“This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon” (Daniel 2:12).

When Daniel finds out about the King needing an interpretation of his dream and no one can do it, what does Daniel do? Daniel hasn’t been told by God that he could do what the king needs. He had never done it before. What does Daniel do?

“Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 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. During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision”  (Daniel 2:17-19).

Instead of running directly to the king, Daniel ran to the King of Kings and got three of his friends to join him in prayer. He went to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Daniel went to “God has favored”, “Who is Like God”, and “God has helped”.  Three pretty good friendly reminders that he went to the right place.

Here’s the outcome from the dream being interpreted in Daniel 2:47-49:

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.” Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.”

A lot more will happen to Daniel and the other three men. Nebuchadnezzar will go on to have more dreams. Jesus will appear in the fiery furnace and protect the lives of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego. A hand will appear and write on a wall in chapter five where Daniel will once again read the writing on the wall that no one else can. Daniel for all that he has done will end up in a lion’s den where God will shut the mouths of the lions. King Darius will discover for himself who the true God is.

Daniel prospered wherever he went because God was with him. Daniel himself will go on to have a dream and visions in chapter seven and share what will happen in the end times. Daniel is an amazing book that I encourage you to spend some time reading.

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