Human wisdom's limits (Daniel 2 v 1-11)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

Remember the theme of the book: God remains the true God so stay faithful to Him. Chapter 2 shows us that God is the true God because He is the only God who reveals truth.

A troubled king
Read Daniel 2:1

• Why does Nebuchadnezzar want his dream interpreted?
• Who does he call on for help?

Nebuchadnezzar had such a significant dream that he is now losing sleep! He calls the top wise guys of his kingdom to come and help—some are more star gazers, others are more dark magic, but together they are the wisdom and insight of Babylon.

A suspicious king
Read Daniel 2:4

• Why doesn’t Nebuchadnezzar tell them the dream, do you think?

The Babylonians had dream charts, so if someone told you what they dreamed you could have a stab at interpreting it for them. But Nebuchadnezzar won’t even tell them what he saw! Some suggest he can’t remember his dream properly,
but it seems much more likely he thinks this dream is so important that he wants to avoid being duped. If they can tell him
what he dreamed, then he’ll know their interpretation is right too.

A threatening king

• What “incentive” to tell them his dream does the king offer his wise men?
• Why don’t his threats have any effect?

The wise guys of Babylon are stuck. They’re being threatened with a nasty death, but it doesn’t actually matter how terrible the penalty—they just can’t do it.

The admission of limits

• What do these wise men have to admit (v 10)?
• Who would you have to be in order to be able to help the king (v 11)?

And, of course, they don't “live among men” (v 11)!

• Why is all this a great threat to Daniel and his friends (v 12-13)?

• In what ways does our society think it can discover truth about life, forgetting the truth of verse 11?
• What would you say to someone who reads, trusts and follows a horoscope?
Thank God that He does reveal truth— supremely in the person of Jesus, in whom “the gods” did come to live among people.

This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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Originally published January 27, 2012.

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