Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar is tormented by horrible nightmares. He’s shaken to the core. Now both dream and its interpretation must be replayed in his presence or the lives of all the court ‘wise men’ will be on the chopping block, including Daniel and his three friends, who ask for the Lord’s help. God responds. All lives now spared.
Something baffles me. Among Babylon’s ‘wise men’, probably only Daniel and his three friends worship the true God, Yahweh of Israel. These four have been selected out of the Jewish exiles as the very best and brightest. Hand-picked, best-in-show, blue-ribbon winners! The other ‘wise men’ worship pagan gods, even bowing in obeisance to the king himself.
So, who cares what happens to those pagan astrologers? Probably my attitude if I were Daniel. After all, wouldn’t they be getting what they deserve, those faithless heathen?!
Daniel 2:18–‘(Daniel) urged them to plead for mercy, from the God of heaven…so that he and his friends might not be executed along with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.’ Okay, they were concerned about their own skin! Of course. But for others as well. Even those who espouse a contrary message. Even enemies of the Lord.
Daniel wants God’s help also for them. After all in Exodus 23:4-5, the Mosaic Law says, ‘…if you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him…be sure you help him…’ Who do you help? Only fellow believers? Hardly. Like what Jesus says in Luke 6:27-28–‘But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.’
‘…you who hear me…’ Do I hear Jesus? I’d rather not sometimes. To care and pray for those who hate me and my Lord? Is that what Jesus means? You figure it out. I’m working on it…with much room for improvement.
Jesus, you ask me to do tough things. Please help me. Amen.