“This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king. Daniel 4:24 (NIV).
Don’t shoot the messenger. Imagine Daniel’s trepidation, even outright fear, at telling the most powerful monarch on the planet that his days as mighty king were numbered. It wasn’t that Nebuchadnezzar would be struck down and killed; we’ll soon see that wasn’t the case. Instead, something much worse was in store for the arrogant king. It must have been a pretty uncomfortable moment in the throne room there in Babylon.
But there’s no stopping what God has willed. If God wills that something is going to happen, it’s going to happen. Imagine Daniel’s trepidation at saying these words to Nebuchadnezzar (and Daniel hasn’t even said what’s going to happen to the king). Imagine Nebuchadnezzar’s anxiety at hearing how God confirmed his (Nebuchadnezzar’s) own arrogance. God would be neither mocked nor contained.
There must have been great respect between Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar that this exchange would have even taken place. Daniel, despite having proven himself trustworthy and competent, and despite being promoted to a high place in Babylonian culture, was a captured slave. He was the unwilling participant in court intrigues because he had been forcibly taken from his home by his militarily superior captors. Then there’s Nebuchadnezzar, the vain and powerful monarch who has known both brutal success and incompetence among his native trusted advisors. He assumed the throne after his father died, and he expanded Babylon into a world power. When he looked around, he saw a tremendous city made glorious by his own actions…and he knew it. He must have felt great respect to bother to listen to the advice of a Jewish slave.
Again, there’s no stopping what God has willed. God willed that man would be saved despite our unholy sins. God willed that a worldwide nation would arise from the children of elderly patriarchs. Delivery from slavery, tumbling the walls of Jericho, a shepherd boy becoming king, his son becoming the wisest and wealthiest ruler in history, His chosen people being disciplined through being overcome by pagan enemies, and now the mystical interpretation of dreams along with the protection of holy angels: what God wills cannot be stopped.
You know this to be true in your own life. Even if we don’t always feel the presence of God, we seem to intrinsically understand that something, someone bigger than us is orchestrating things. It isn’t paranoia: it’s a natural knowledge of God. It’s an acknowledgement of fact. Believing in Him and His inevitability then becomes the first step in faith. Don’t shoot the messenger: I’m simply telling you the truth.
For further reading: Job 40:12, Psalm 107:40, Jeremiah 40:2, Daniel 4:25
Lord God, I believe in You. You are more powerful than anyone or anything else. What You will happens.
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