What We Can Learn From Nebuchadnezzar's Restless Night
By Douglas Connelly
“You do not have because you do not ask God.” -James 4:2
According to Daniel 2:29, Nebuchadnezzar went to bed one night thinking about the future. He had seen the great Assyrian Empire fall and he had seen the Babylonian Empire rise in its place. The king woke up deeply troubled. He had a dream that was too important to pass over lightly.
Nebuchadnezzar had a simple request of all his counselors and learned men who claimed to speak with spiritual power—tell me the dream and its interpretation and I will lavish you with riches; fail to give me the information and you will die. But in the end they had to face the truth (and admit to the king) that they had no reliable answers at all.
The Way We Look for Truth
In the crisis that followed, the King called upon Daniel. Daniel relied on the same resources that are available to us:
First, Daniel prayed. He had no assurance that God would reveal the dream to him, but he was not afraid to ask big things from a big God. So many times we don’t even do that. We don’t have from God because we don’t ask (James 4:2).
Second, Daniel went to other believers that he trusted. When you have a pressing burden or need, the best thing to do is pray and the best people to call on are not the whole church but the two or three friends whose hearts are knit to yours. A pastor friend and I met recently with a young believer who was caught in a web of bitterness and resentment toward another Christian. When we got to the meeting place, the bitter man had brought an unbelieving friend with him for support. The unbeliever supported him all right—not toward repentance and forgiveness, but deeper into anger and hostility. Daniel knew the value of a few committed friends.
Third, Daniel was humble. When God revealed the dream and its meaning that night, Daniel stayed in God’s presence and spent some time giving praise and honor to the true source of wisdom, God alone. Daniel was willing in private and in public to give God all the credit. Humility is a common thread among men and women God uses greatly. They are not impressed with their own gifts and insights; they are captured by the greatness and wisdom of God.
Daniel trusted the sovereign God even when he could not see what the outcome would be. In an out-of-control world, that same God is the one secure anchor we have.
What’s the main idea in this section? What is one thing you can act on based on this reading?
Editor's note: This content was taken from the original article "Nebuchadnezzar's Restless Night" by Douglas Connelly.