Daniel answered and said, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His. He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings, and sets up kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding; He reveals the deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.
I thank You, and praise You, O God of my fathers, Who has given me wisdom and might, and has made known to me now what we desired of You….”
— Daniel 2:20-23
Daniel was giving thanks to the Lord for revealing to him Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation. Less familiar portions of the Bible can have gold nuggets hidden in them, and so it is here. There’s a lot of treasure for prophetic people in this short passage, so let’s take a look at what God has for us.
God desires to share His wisdom with us.
Daniel starts out by extolling God for His wisdom and might. He mentions that these two qualities belong to the Lord: they are His. He ends with thanking and praising the Lord, “Who has given me wisdom and might.”
Isn’t it amazing that the Lord of the whole universe delights to bestow on us what He possesses? Paul says in Romans 8:32, “He Who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” He also stated, in 1 Corinthians 3:21, 22, “…All things are yours, whether … the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours.” We so easily take the gifts of God for granted, but if we would think about them more deeply, our hearts would be inspired to overwhelming awe.
All true wisdom originates with the Lord. We cannot get it anywhere else. We should not even attempt to glean wisdom from so-called wise men who do not worship the true God, nor should we attempt to use their techniques for achieving peace or revelation. In Christ alone “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Furthermore, “Beware, so that no one spoils you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ: for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:8, 9).
Now, the Holy Spirit might enlighten us to a portion of His wisdom through another person. He does that through sermons, godly counsel, and the word gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. We should also expect to receive wisdom directly from the Lord. But there is no other source of wisdom besides Him, and we get ourselves into a mess of deception if we go looking for it outside of Him. We can have confidence that, if we ask Him, He will be eager to give it, because He has already promised, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all men liberally and does not upbraid [reproach], and it shall be given to him” (James 1:5).
God changes the times and seasons.
Whether it is what is going on in our personal lives, or in our nation and the world, we need to stay keenly aware that God has specific times and seasons for things. When His season is up, He moves on. We must stay attuned to Him, so that we don’t miss His shifts from one thing into another. When He is breathing life into something, it continues, increases, and thrives. But when He is done with it, it’s dead. You can enthusiastically kick that horse all you want, but without the Lord’s life in it, it’s not going anywhere.
Most of us like staying put in what is familiar. Change is disconcerting. Jesus commented on this tendency, when He likened the old and new covenants to wineskins. He said, “No man also having drunk old wine immediately desires new: for he says, ‘The old is better’” (Luke 5:39).
When upheaval is happening in our personal lives or in the nation or world, it is often because God is preparing a new thing. If we understand this, we will not let what we observe in the natural make us afraid. Keep your eyes on Jesus, Who does all things well (Mark 7:37), and be ready to move with Him — even quickly. There is blessing for the person who is open to the new works of God.
Lately I have been praying, “Lord, help me to recognize when You are shifting the seasons, give me Your understanding of how to respond, and help me to keep up with You!”
There are a few more lessons we can learn from Daniel 2:20-23. We’ll continue with them next time.
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