Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him. (Daniel 2:20-22)
Daniel Describes God
As the Bible teacher walked by the desk of her pupils, she noticed a little girl intent upon drawing a picture. Asking the girl what she was creating, she replied, “I am drawing a picture of God.” The teacher was amused at her answer and reminded her that no one knows what God looks like to which the little girl replied, “They will when I finish.” Describing God is a tenuous effort because the Creator has left glimpses of His image throughout the pages of holy writ and revealed His nature in the world He formed by His power but left no concrete visibility for man to respond to as an image of God. This has frustrated man who wants to create God in his own image so that the wisdom of men can dictate the will of the Lord. All of the failures of human history are borne upon the wings of man’s desperation to create God in an image other than given in the revelation of His word. The prophet Daniel preserves a wonderful description of God when the dream of Nebuchadnezzar is revealed to him and his three friends staving off certain death by the king. What was demanded of the wise men was impossible as the king not only required the wise men to tell him the interpretation of the dream but the dream itself. Only God could reveal the secrets of men and through His grace the dream was known to the four godly men serving in captivity. All wisdom comes from the heavenly Father exhibiting His great power. For centuries, wise men have interpreted the dreams of kings but no king demanded the wise men tell him his dream. This is impossible apart from the revelation of God. When Daniel and his friends came to the Lord in prayer, the dream and its meaning were revealed. Daniel would give honor to the power of God as the source of the revelation and its meaning.
The dream of Nebuchadnezzar was a nightmare when seen at its source. It was of a great image made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay. A stone was cut out without hands that demolished the image and broke it into pieces. The stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Without the power of God to reveal the dream and its meaning it would have been a dream of horror. Instead, the Lord reveals His scheme of raising nations up and bringing others down. The four parts of the image represented four great kingdoms that would rule the earth. First the Babylonian empire followed by the Medo-Persian and then the Greeks with the final kingdom the Roman Empire. It would be during the days of the Roman Empire the church of Christ would be established and fill the earth. Daniel tells the king the dream is certain and its interpretation is sure. In Daniel’s praise to God, he describes the character of the Lord as one who fills the earth and declares the beginning and end of all things. Nations rise and fall at the discretion of the will of the Lord. Those who seek wisdom are given wisdom and when seeking knowledge it will be given by the grace of God. The deep things are told by God as well as the secret things. There is nothing hidden from the mind of the Lord and He knows all things that happen upon the face of the earth. The character of God is light shining in darkness revealing His nature and His love. Daniel understood this as the prayers of his friends found its answer in trusting in the power of God to reveal the impossible.
Describing God requires accepting the nature of God and His will in the heart of men. Daniel did not describe the Lord with words but in his heart knew the incredible gift of the Lord revealing the dream and its meaning so the glory of God can be seen in the heart of the king. Nebuchadnezzar concluded that God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets. He came to understand in part the character of God through the faith of Daniel and his three friends. The life of these four Hebrews would change many hearts to believe in the word of the Lord because they not only knew the character of God but allowed His image to mold their lives to stand for truth regardless of how hot the furnace was or fierce the lions. The Christian has the fully revealed word of God that unfolds His nature, His character, His goodness, and His wrath. Accepting the character of God into the heart will change the mind of the person to live more holy and acceptable to the will of the Father. Wisdom and might belong to the Lord. He works among the nations of men today accomplishing His will. God knows everything that is said and done and all things done in secret. The Lord is the light of the world.