Today’s Scripture Focus: Daniel 2:24-35
We now move into the time of year when we focus on the section of the Bible known as The Prophets. A prophet in scripture is someone chosen by God to speak to the people. The prophet has two jobs—to foretell events that will take place in the future, and to “forthtell” the call to repentance and holy living. This was normally accomplished by God speaking directly to the prophet through either direct messages or visions, then the prophet proclaiming those messages or visions to the people. Prophets were active throughout Israel’s history, but the primary focus of the prophetic books cover the decline, fall, and exile of Judah.
This year we will be studying the book of Daniel. Daniel was a part of the small band of Jerusalem’s “elite” that was carried off after battle to Babylon by the young, new, and powerful king Nebuchadnezzar in 606 BC. Daniel was active until the third year of the Persion King Cyrus, when he would likely have been about 100 years old. Therefore, Daniel has a unique perspective of the entire Babylonian Exile. The first half of Daniel’s book tells stories relating to Daniel and his companions’ time in Babylon. Daniel soon rises to prominence due to his ability to interpret dreams and visions. The second half contains the visions of Daniel.
Today’s scripture focus takes place as Daniel is still a young apprentice “wise man” in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. The king has had a troubling dream. Importance was placed on the dreams of kings. It was believed that the gods spoke to rulers in dreams, giving them instruction and warning. The full time job of the wise men was to interpret signs, wonders in the skies, and dreams for the king. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream seemed significant to him, so he wanted an accurate interpretation. But how could he be sure his wise men were telling him the truth about his dream, and not just something he wanted to hear? He decided to have his seers not only tell him what his dream meant, but what his dream was!
Since none of the official wise men were able to tell the king his dream, he decided they were all fakes and was going to have them killed. However, the young Daniel and his friends prayed and were given the dream and its meaning. Large statues had great meaning in the world of the Bible. This statue had four parts, representing four great world empires. A large stone, however, would obliterate the statue and grow to the size of the entire world. This stone represented the coming Kingdom of God. The message of the king’s dream speaks to us today—kings and kingdoms may all pass away, “but there is a God in the heavens…”!
- Go around the table and share prayer requests. Have someone lead in prayer.
- Let everyone who would like to share anything exciting from their week.
- Ask these three questions. Let as many answer each one as they would like.
Do your dreams ever bother you? Do you think dreams ever have meaning today?
Is there anything in today’s scripture that especially speaks to you?
What questions would you like to ask about today’s scripture?