Prayer Focus: Namibia, Nauru

Bible Reading: Daniel 1-3

Scripture

Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.” (Daniel 2:24 NLT)

And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart. (Daniel 2:30 NLT)

The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the Lord over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.” Then the king appointed Daniel to a high position and gave him many valuable gifts. He made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men. (Daniel 2:47, 48 NLT)

Observation

Daniel, like Joseph before him, doesn’t claim to be the interpreter of dreams and gives the glory to God for revealing the dream and interpretation to him.

Daniel is also living in a foreign land and comes to the rescue of a foreign people. He asks that the wise men not be killed and the he will reveal the meaning of the dream.

And again, like Joseph, when Daniel reveals the dream and its interpretation, the King appoints him to a high position. In this case, Daniel is made chief over all the wise men.

But who are these wise men?

In Matthew 2 we read about wise men from the east, Magi, making a trek to worship the newborn king of the Jews. The Bible does not specifically say, but given all the clues it’s likely that the wise men Daniel instructed were the forebears of the wise men who worshipped Jesus.

Application

Through Daniel, God set in motion a chain of events that 500 years later would put a group of wise men at the feet of Jesus when Jesus was still an infant, or a toddler at most. The event is never discussed in the gospels, or the letters of the New Testament and it doesn’t seem to be in the book of Revelation. Yet, it’s there, and it is one of the key points that any one today reciting the birth story will be sure to include.

[The wise men] entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11 NLT)

You never know how what you do today will affect the future beyond your lifetime. Daniel could have looked out for himself and let the wise men die. They were likely teaching pagan rituals any way. Instead, Daniel trusted God and in doing so saved himself and all the wise men and was able to reach the wise men in such a way that centuries later they were worshipping at the feet of Jesus.

In today’s culture its commonplace to look out for yourself. Get your needs met before worrying about every one else. After all, you deserve it, right?

But what if we put ourselves aside, trust God and think of others first. What if we put in the hard work of training and discipling the next generation? Is it possible that we could be lending a hand, or be like a link in a chain, that would raise up a godly generation after ours?

It takes sacrifice and risk and the only safety net is the only one that matters; our salvation through Christ.

Prayers

Dear Lord, I know I get caught up in wanting instant results and to be able to count the numbers now to know if “I” have been successful. But the truth is I’m putting myself first when I do that. Teach me to endure and to lead for the long haul, for the results I may never see, and for the people I may never know until I see them in Heaven. Don’t let me “kill the wise men” through my impatience. Amen.

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