Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Weird Dream

Daniel 4:9 - 18

9 I (King Nebuchadnezzar) said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me. 10 These are the visions I saw while lying in bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the wild animals found shelter, and the birds lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed.
 13 “In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger,[c] coming down from heaven. 14 He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field.
   “‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times[d] pass by for him.
 17 “‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’
 18 “This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

As usual, this is a strange dream.  But that is what makes it interesting.  I hardly ever remember the dreams I have.  So to remember one this detailed is interesting to me.  A tree so high it touches the sky, it feeds and houses every living thing.  Someone tells King Nebuchadnezzar to cut it down.  Then the dream says that someone will become like the animals for seven years.  These decisions are from God and his word is law.  How strange.  It would have scared me.  This is a nightmare, not just a dream.  I am not sure I would want my dreams interpreted.  I think that sometimes it's better not to know, than to anticipate the worst.

But King Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel to tell him what the dream meant.  He now trusts Daniel, even making him the chief of the magicians.  The king knows that no one else can tell him what it's all about.  What confidence the king has in him.  What jealousy must rage under the surface of all the other magicians and wise men.  If I was Daniel, I would first pray, but then question the dream.  Is the King crazy?  Did this dream really happen? But I am sure Daniel, already had ideas.  

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