Then the king answered, “I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.” Daniel 2:8-9 (NIV).
Confession of an obvious truth here: in reading these Old Testament verses, I’m hoping you pick up on how they still apply to us today and, more importantly, how, directly or indirectly, they point us to Jesus in every way possible. Case in point: Nebuchadnezzar’s desperation.
He didn’t trust his court jester magicians; they had let him down before. He knew they would try to play him, to stall, to get him to tell them what he wanted to hear, and to generally run out the clock on his crisis du jour. So, under threat of death, Nebuchadnezzar cornered his advisors, and bid them to tell him what he was dreaming.
He had nowhere else to go. Give this to Nebuchadnezzar: his mama didn’t raise a fool. He’s wise enough to know that what he’s been dreaming matters. It’s important; it has meaning beyond what he understands. Nebuchadnezzar knows that he needs an answer to this dream that has bothered him so much that he can’t sleep and is deeply troubled. So, he asks the people who, according to his customs, are supposed to know what it means.
That must have troubled him more. He had talked with them before, and we can only imagine that their counsel, their interpretations of all things mystical, left him cold. More commonly put, Nebuchadnezzar knew they were full of it.
Have you ever worked with someone who was looking for information, or an answer, or help with something, and they had been let down before? Has that person been you? In my experience, most of those folks turn inward, ‘doing it by themselves,’ which never works well for long. Solitude and being a loner isn’t what God designed us for, but it’s understandable. We’ve all been there. We trusted someone and we got burned. Is it any wonder we’d be reluctant to trust again? Hello, desperate Nebuchadnezzar.
The good news for him is, well, the Good News. In a few days, we’ll learn that he meets Daniel, who was familiar with the Good News of the God who saves His people. Our desperation is the clay God uses to mold us into something more than we could be on our own. Without God, nothing is possible, especially in our desperation. With Him, we cannot fail.
For further reading: Esther 4:11, Isaiah 41:22-24, Daniel 2:10
Lord, in my desperation, help me to always see how much I need You.
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