I find so much beauty and comfort in the events recorded in the Bible. During my meditation time this morning I came across an amazing event in the Bible I had passed over and it was in this event I discovered a beautiful truth I knew needed to be shared.
History is full of mad men and if you know your history, then you are aware that many of the mad men who fill our history books have been people in high power positions. They say that power changes people but I believe power, money, and fame simply make someone more of what they already were.
Adolph Hitler was always a mad man even when he was an unemployed house painter. It was not the power of the Third Reich that made him insane enough to inspire the killings of over six million Jews in the holocaust but rather the fact that this man was truly demented.
In the book of Daniel we start out with one of the main players who is most certainly unstable in his thinking and reasoning. His name is King Nebuchadnezzar. Chapter two tells us that the king is sleeping only to be awakened by a dream. He could not even remember the dream he had but he was terrified by it and called his wise men into his royal chambers to interpret a dream he himself could not remember. He explained to these men that he had a dream but could not remember it. He demanded that they recall the dream he had and then interpret it. If they could not, he would dismember them and kill their families.
This my friends is "The Shining" type of crazy!!!
I can just see him busting his head out from the royal bed curtains shouting out, "Heeeeerrrrreeees Nebby!!!!"
I digress. Nebuchadnezzar makes this insane command and of course his wise men fail to satisfy his commands and the king follows through on his threat and this is where I want to focus our attention.
This is a portion of the story that I have missed up until this very morning.
"For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain." ~ Daniel 2:12-13
Daniel was gathered up in the middle of the night along with every wise man in the kingdom. It did not matter if they knew what was going on (Daniel did not because he was sleeping during the kings "Shining" moment.) Details never matter to the mentally unbalanced individual because detail provide reason and a mad man does not deal in reason. He deals in his or her own madness.
I have worked for a true mad man before. They carried a title that implied Christianity but behind closed doors, they operated and made personal theology based upon demonic and personal sheer madness and it reflected onto the lives of those who worked for him. When you deal with a mad man, levels of promotion matter little because the mad man only sees life through his own fractured lens. Those who work for a mad man can be quickly moved around from responsibility to responsibility with little to no consideration for what the trickle down affect of instability will be. To a mad man, wise men can be easily replaced when you advertise with a bright LED sign how much you have to offer on the surface.
I find Daniel's reaction amazing!!!
"Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation.
Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: hat they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven." ~ Daniel 2:14-19
Daniel did not react as the others did. When the knock came and he was grabbed from his home, Daniel did not flood his Face book and twitter feeds with postings of articles from the local conservative paper on how atrocious the kings insane actions were. He simply asked, "What is going on?"
Now here is where the story gets truly AMAZING! Look at the response from the chief executioner Arioch. "Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel...."
Wait a minute! Why is Arioch even wasting the time explaining to Daniel. He is the chief executioner. He is paid to kill not to think. He is paid to NOT reason or answer questions. He has one job. Kill whoever the mad man says must be killed. To delay in your task meant you could be killed for insubordination.
"Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation." ~ Daniel 2:24
Arioch relayed the matter because, I believe, Arioch knew the king was a mad man. Wise men could be replaced and so could chief executioners. He took a chance on Daniel. I truly believe that Arioch knew the killing of a house full of wise men would not fix the kings problem. More wise men would come, as they had before, and more wise men would die at the whim of a mad man.
"Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? " ~ Daniel 2:25-26
"Life is a series of responses and our response determines our future."
Life is a series of responses and our response determines our future. Daniel had a choice in all of this. Respond in anger over the frustrations caused by a mad man, or walk in his purpose in the palace he was placed in. He chose his purpose.
The story was never about Daniel. It was about a much bigger scope and Daniel was placed where he was, not for himself, but for a mad man.
"Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart." ~ Daniel 2:27-30
Please notice the last sentence of this passage.
"...For God showed it to me for your benefit."
God was interested in a mad man because God is even interested in those who have NO interest in Him. Let me repeat this.
God is even interested in those who have NO interest in Him.
He is not willing that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance.
History is full of mad men and if you know your history, then you are aware that many of the mad men who fill our history books have been people in high power positions. Let me just throw this out there and say be very careful before you decide to pray for revival.
We pray for it, put up signs in our yards and slogans on our church bulletins begging God to send revival. We have special prayer meetings and post drastic pictures on or Face book feeds invoking others to join us in our pleas for "God to send revival to His church and to America!!!"
I am all for revival, but let me ask you a question. Historically speaking, how does God bring revival?
He allows circumstances to press His people and others into a place where they truly recognize that they need Him. Why do we have the problems in our political and legal landscape today? How can the stuff that happens be allowed to happen? Could it be that God is answering our prayers to bring revival?
I see posts about how we need revival but then cries to remove people from office because of the junk that they seem to get by with. Did God allow that person into a position of power? Out of all the people that could be in power, does the God of the universe have a say in who is allowed to be in power?
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Could it be that God is not so much interested in our indignation against the "Brazen behavior of the wicked" as much as our response to His allowed methods of bringing about a dependence upon Him?
Daniel had no need to speak evil of Nebuchadnezzar. Everyone in the palace secretly acknowledged the guy was insane behind his back. Daniel recognized that this was a man who needed to encounter how big and mighty his God was. Daniel calmly went to God on behalf of a mad man and requested God to bring Nebuchadnezzar into a state God awareness. He was not interested in the approval of a mad man, but rather in the mad man seeing the power of God.
Complaining about a lost person's actions is insane. They are doing what they know. You cannot exhibit or give away what you do not possess. So post away about how terrible so and so is or what political party continues to let you down. Your focus , while well intended, is off.
Paul kicks our barn doors in with this nugget.
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." ~ Romans 13:1-7
"Life is a series of responses and our response determines our future."
Climbing with you,