Have you ever had a really weird dream? You know the kind—where lions were swinging from the power lines that controlled the city’s gasoline supply, and your mission was to eat all the Raisin Bran before the mayor could? We’ve all had those dreams!
King Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, had a really strange dream, and when he woke up, he had forgotten all the details! Frustrated and angry, he called his magicians and astrologers to see if they could remember the dream for him. After all, if they were who they claimed to be, they could tell him what he dreamed about last night, right? Wrong! Stumped and irritated, and maybe slightly embarrassed, they came back with this depressing answer: “No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals” (verse 11).
King Nebuchadnezzar was furious, and demanded that all the wise men in his kingdom be killed. Daniel and his three friends were part of that group, and as soon as Daniel heard about the king’s demand, he rushed to Nebuchadnezzar to ask for more time. Then he rushed home to his friends, and they prayed that the God in heaven who does reveal mysteries would reveal the dream and its meaning to them.
A few days later, Daniel stood before King Nebuchadnezzar, expected to do the impossible—tell the king what he had dreamt many nights ago. A thousand thoughts rushed through King Nebuchadnezzar’s mind. Will Daniel be able to tell me my dream? Is his God different from my gods? Does his God dwell with mortals, or does He live far away just like mine do?
Daniel began to speak:
“No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or diviners can show to the king the mystery that the king is asking, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has disclosed to King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen at the end of days.”
Daniel then explained every detail of the dream to a shocked and ecstatic King Nebuchadnezzar. He explained all the symbols in this dream—symbols that paint a prophetic timeline that reaches past even our time today! King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream showed that, after Babylon, three other kingdoms would rise and fall. Next would come a time where no one kingdom ruled the world (today), and then God’s Kingdom would come and destroy all human kingdoms. God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to know that ultimately His Heavenly Kingdom would trump everything. He would come and reign on earth forever!
We can learn three lessons from this incredible chapter.
First, if you don’t know what to do, pray. Prayer often gives God permission to act!
Second, God does reveal mysteries. If you don’t understand something, pray and ask God to help you understand.
Third, God’s kingdom will reign forever! I want to be a citizen of that kingdom now, don’t you?