The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 100 of 185
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whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat
of his sacrifice" (Exod. 34: 14, 15).
Such a small thing about which to make such a fuss! But Daniel knew he would be
"guilty by association" if, while professing to believe in Jehovah and to keep His
covenant, he partook of "defiled" food and drink. Common sense is a very different
thing from sanctified common sense. How easy it is to be very `practical' and `sensible',
and thereby to be unspiritual and carnal. We need to be constantly on guard against such
an attitude, for we are bidden to walk worthy of our Lord, not worthy of commendation
by the world.
Paul assures us that "it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful"
(I.Cor.iv.2), and in the parable in Matt. 25: 21, it is the faithful steward who is
entrusted with greater responsibility. So it was for Daniel, "As for these four children,
God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom:  and Daniel had
understanding in all visions and dreams" (1: 17). Daniel's discernment in dreams led on
to the events recorded in chapter 2: concerning Nebuchadnezzar's dream. When the
situation was known to Daniel, the first thing he did was to go to his friends "that 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" (2: 17, 18). The
result was that "the secret was revealed unto Daniel in a night vision" (2: 19). After, in
the king's presence Daniel made it clear that the ability to interpret dreams was due to no
skill of his own: "there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to
the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days" (2: 28). How easily he could
have made this an opportunity to advance himself in the king's eyes; yet he took it as an
opportunity to bear witness to this pagan monarch of the power of his God.
When Nebuchadnezzar had his second dream, he acknowledged that a divine spirit
was in Daniel. The Authorized Version translates "I know that the spirit of the holy gods
is in thee" (4: 8, 9, 18). The word translated "gods" is the Chaldee elahin, and is the
equivalent of the Hebrew elohim, so that it is a moot point whether Nebuchadnezzar was
referring to "gods" or to God. It must at least have been a step on the road to the
acknowledgment in the verse 37 of this same chapter:
"Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all Whose
works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to
abase" (4: 37)
Daniel's faithfulness is again emphasized in the interpretation of this second dream,
for it spoke of God's judgment on the king. We have already pointed out that it was
extremely dangerous to offend an absolute monarch such as Nebuchadnezzar.  His
faithfulness is again shown in the interpretation of the `writing on the wall' (5: 22 ff.).
Similarly when Darius was on the throne, and had issued the decree that none should "ask
a petition of any God or man for thirty days" (6: 4-end), as soon as Daniel heard the
decree had been signed "he went into his house; and his windows being open in his
chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and
gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime" (6: 10). As a result of his faithfulness