October 4, 2009 – October 10, 2009
“There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.” Daniel 2:28.
Study Help: Prophets and Kings, 491–502; Fundamentals of Christian Education, 410–415.
“In God’s name Daniel made known to the king the heaven-sent messages of instruction, warning, and rebuke, and he was not repulsed. Let God’s workers of today read the firm, bold testimony of Daniel and follow his example.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 151.
1 What did King Nebuchadnezzar receive? Daniel 2:1. For what purpose was it given?
Note: “[Daniel 2:36–40, 44 quoted.] This dream was given to the king of Babylon, the events of the future, reaching down to the end of time, were opened before him, that he might have light on this important subject. It was also given for the benefit of all future generations. The record was traced by the prophetic pen that the light might be shared by those kingdoms which should succeed the kingdom of Babylon.” The Signs of the Times, April 29, 1897.
2 In his perplexity, whom did the king seek for help? Daniel 2:2. How can we be doing the same thing today?
Note: “It is fondly supposed that heathen superstitions have disappeared before the civilization of the twentieth century. But the word of God and the stern testimony of facts declare that sorcery is practiced in this age as verily as in the days of the old-time magicians. The ancient system of magic is, in reality, the same as what is now known as modern spiritualism.” The Acts of the Apostles, 289.
3 What did the wise men reveal by their answer? Daniel 2:3–7. What is the source of true wisdom?
Note: “Nebuchadnezzar began to see that the men whom he trusted to reveal mysteries through their boasted wisdom, failed him in his great perplexity.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 410.
“The historic events related in the king’s dream were of consequence to him; but the dream was taken from him, that the wise men by their claimed understanding of mysteries, should not place upon it a false interpretation. The lessons taught in it were given by God for those who live in our day. The inability of the wise men to tell the dream, is a representation of the wise men of the present day, who have not discernment and learning and knowledge from the Most High, and therefore are unable to understand the prophecies.” Ibid., 412.
4 How did Nebuchadnezzar avoid being deceived? Daniel 2:8, 9. What command was given by the king? Daniel 2:10–13.
Note: “Nebuchadnezzar demanded not only the interpretation of the dream, but the relation of the dream itself. If the wise men would supply this, he would accept it as a proof of their claim as magicians and astrologers. The magicians were full of fear and trembling. They declared that the request of the king was something unreasonable, and the test beyond that which had ever been required of any man. The king became furious, and acted like all men who have great power and uncontrollable passions. He decided that every one of them should be put to death, and as Daniel and his fellows were numbered with the wise men, they also were to share this fate.” The Youth’s Instructor, November 22, 1894.
5 How did Daniel react in an hour of crisis? Daniel 2:14–18.
Note: “Daniel … pleaded for time to bring this matter before the supreme court of the universe, from whose decision there could be no appeal. When his request was granted, Daniel laid the whole matter before his companions, who were united with him in worshiping the true God. The matter was fully considered, and on their bended knees they pleaded that God would give them the power and wisdom that would alone avail them in their great necessity. …
“I would impress upon the youth that Daniel’s God is their God, and whatever difficulty may arise, let them do as did Daniel, ‘desire mercies of the God of heaven.’ [Daniel 2:18.]” Sons and Daughters of God, 216.
“Behold the Jewish captive, calm and self-possessed, in the presence of the monarch of the world’s most powerful empire. In his first words he disclaimed honor for himself and exalted God as the source of all wisdom.” Prophets and Kings, 494.
6 What was the first thing Daniel did when his prayer was answered? Daniel 2:19–23. What is God willing to do today?
Note: “As God made known His will to the Hebrew captives, to those who were most separate from the customs and practices of a world lying in wickedness, so will the Lord communicate light from heaven to all who will appreciate a ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ To them He will express His mind. Those who are least bound up with worldly ideas, are the most separate from display, and vanity, and pride, and love of promotion, who stand forth as His peculiar people, zealous of good works,—to these He will reveal the meaning of His word. The very first exhibition of God’s power to the Hebrew captives was in showing the defective wisdom of the great ones of the earth. The wisdom of men is foolishness with God. The magicians revealed their ignorance of the light before the Lord revealed His wisdom as supreme.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 101, 102.
7 Name some noble qualities that we should learn from Daniel. Daniel 2:24–30.
Note: “The Jewish captive stands before the monarch of the most powerful empire the sun has ever shone upon. The king is in great distress amid all his riches and glory, but the youthful exile is peaceful and happy in his God. Now, if ever, is the time for Daniel to exalt himself, to make prominent his own goodness and superior wisdom. But his first effort is to disclaim all honor for himself and to exalt God as the source of wisdom.” The Sanctified Life, 35, 36.
“When called to stand before King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel did not hesitate to acknowledge the source of his wisdom. Did that faithful recognition of God detract from Daniel’s influence in the king’s court? By no means; it was the secret of his power; it secured for him favor in the eyes of the ruler of Babylon. …
“Never does man show greater folly than when he seeks to secure acceptance and recognition in the world by sacrificing in any degree the allegiance and honor due to God.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 151.
“Daniel was imbued with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and he pleaded that the wise men of Babylon should not be destroyed. … The transforming grace of God was made manifest in His servant, and he pleaded most earnestly for the lives of the very men who afterwards in a secret, underhanded manner, made plans by which they thought to put an end to the life of Daniel. These men became jealous of Daniel because he found favor with kings and nobles, and was honored as the greatest man in Babylon.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, 319, 320.
8 What is revealed by the sequence of worldly dominion as depicted in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream? Daniel 2:31–43.
Note: “The image revealed to Nebuchadnezzar, while representing the deterioration of the kingdoms of the earth in power and glory, also fitly represents the deterioration of religion and morality among the people of these kingdoms. As nations forget God, in like proportion they become weak morally.
“Babylon passed away because in her prosperity she forgot God, and ascribed the glory of her prosperity to human achievement.
“The Medo-Persian kingdom was visited by the wrath of heaven because in this kingdom God’s law was trampled under foot. The fear of the Lord found no place in the hearts of the people. The prevailing influences in Medo-Persia were wickedness, blasphemy, and corruption.
“The kingdoms that followed were even more base and corrupt. They deteriorated because they cast off their allegiance to God. As they forgot Him, they sank lower and still lower in the scale of moral value.
“We have come to a time when God’s sacred work is represented by the feet of the image in which the iron was mixed with the miry clay.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 11
9 How is the eternal kingdom of God represented? Daniel 2:44, 45. Who is the stone or rock? Isaiah 28:16; I Corinthians 3:11.
Note: “The kingdom of God’s grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 108.
10 How was the king’s satisfaction made apparent? Daniel 2:46–49.
Note: “Nebuchadnezzar felt that he could accept this interpretation as a divine revelation; for to Daniel had been revealed every detail of the dream. The solemn truths conveyed by the interpretation of this vision of the night made a deep impression on the sovereign’s mind.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1169.
“He who has to deal with persons differing so widely in character, disposition, and temperament will have trials, perplexities, and collisions, even when he does his best. He may be disgusted with the ignorance, pride, and independence which he will meet; but this should not discourage him. He should stand where he will sway, rather than be swayed. Firm as a rock to principle, with an intelligent faith, he should stand uncorrupted by surrounding influences. The people of God should not be transformed by the various influences to which they must necessarily be exposed, but they must stand up for Jesus and by the aid of His Spirit exert a transforming power upon minds deformed by false habits and defiled by sin. …
“We must confess Christ openly and bravely, exhibiting in our characters His meekness, humility, and love, till men shall be charmed by the beauty of holiness. It is not the best way to preserve our religion as we bottle perfumes lest the fragrance should escape.
“The very conflicts and rebuffs we meet are to make us stronger and give stability to our faith. We are not to be swayed, like a reed in the wind, by every passing influence. Our souls, warmed and invigorated by the truths of the gospel, and refreshed by divine grace, are to open and expand, and shed their fragrance upon others. Clad in the whole armor of righteousness, we can meet any influence and our purity remain untarnished.
“All should consider that God’s claims upon them are paramount to all others. God has given to every person capabilities to improve, that he may reflect glory to the Giver. Everyday some progress should be made. If the workers leave the sanitarium as they entered it, without making decided improvement, gaining in knowledge and spiritual strength, they have met with loss. God designs that Christians shall grow continually, grow up unto the full stature of men and women in Christ. All who do not grow stronger, and become more firmly rooted and grounded in the truth, are continually retrograding.
“A special effort should be made to secure the services of conscientious, Christian workers. It is the purpose of God that a health institution should be organized and controlled exclusively by Seventh-day Adventists; and when unbelievers are brought in to occupy responsible positions, an influence is presiding there that will tell with great weight against the sanitarium. God did not intend that this institution should be carried on after the order of any other health institute in the land, but that it should be one of the most effectual instrumentalities in His hands of giving light to the world. It should stand forth with scientific ability, with moral and spiritual power, and as a faithful sentinel of reform in all its bearings; and all who act a part in it should be reformers, having respect to its rules, and heeding the light of health reform now shining upon us as a people.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 555, 556.
© Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.