Got Nightmares?

Pray: Humble yourself before God in prayer. Ask Him for wisdom and to help you see the wonderful things He has for your life before reading this section of the Bible. 

Read: Daniel 2

My son slipped off a dock into a dark, fast-flowing river! I was too slow to catch up with him and he can’t swim. My heart was racing and utter despair fell over me. Then I woke myself up yelling his name. Got nightmares? Even kings have nightmares! In this chapter, King Neb of Babylon had a dream so terrifying that he couldn’t get back to sleep for days. Utterly troubled! So he gets some professional help. All the best fortunetellers, palm readers, psychologists and neurosurgeons to figure out what is going on in his head. But all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put humpty dumpty back together again. Their failure makes Neb so angry he orders them all to be executed – including Daniel and his friends!

But God had another plan. In walks Daniel, who approaches the king with bold faith. He didn’t know what Neb dreamed or how to interpret it. What he did know was that His God was merciful and could save the day.  Neb agrees to give Daniel some time. Whew! So he gathers his friends and they pray like never before. God responds and “The mystery was then revealed to Daniel in a vision at night, and Daniel praised the God of heaven…” (Vs. 19).

When you are confronted with crippling anxieties: a loss of job, cancer, divorce, or persecution; how do you normally respond? Do you gather your friends and pray? And even if the Lord answers your prayers, do you take time to praise Him before getting on with life? God desires our prayers and our praise! He is after our hearts and His praise. He will go to unfathomable lengths to save His people, build His Kingdom and spread His glory over all the Earth. He is faithful and sovereignly provides for His chosen people in the most desperate times of their lives. What anxiety are you facing now that could be battled with prayer and praise?

After praising God, Daniel tells the king, "No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days" (Dan. 2:26-28a). Notice who Daniel gives credit to…

Did you catch that? Daniel then stands before the most powerful man in the world and explains that the beastly statue in his dream represented four kingdoms that would all be overcome by one divine and everlasting kingdom. Most interpreters identify these kingdoms as:

  • The first Kingdom (Gold) is Babylon
  • The second (Silver) is the Persian Empire
  • The third (Brass) is the Greek Empire
  • The fourth (of Iron and clay) is the Roman Empire.

From head to toe this statue pointed to Jesus and His coming Kingdom, which “will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever” (Vs. 44). It is what John the Baptist was yelling about in the desert and what Jesus taught us to pray for (Your Kingdom come, Your will be done). King Jesus has established His unstoppable, eternal, divine Kingdom that will outlast all others and be universally triumphant. Jesus is still accomplishing His mission even here in Tallahassee, as well as in you. You have a choice to make today: Will you follow Jesus as an agent of the King or do your own thing?

Reflection Questions:

  1. What bold action is Jesus leading you to make to expand His Kingdom? Where is there resistance in your heart?
  2. What are some ways renewed prayer and praise could help you battle the anxieties or stresses you are facing in life right now? Why?
  3. What if you got out of bed tomorrow with a greater Kingdom perspective in life? How might this change the way you work, treat others, engage with the lost and view your struggles?

Memorize: Daniel 2:44