They acknowledged that they were at God’s mercy and trusted in Him to provide.
At your first opportunity, open your Bible and read Daniel chapter two. It’s a case study in not freaking out even though there is every reason in the world to do so.
You see, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (we’ll call him Neb) took to having dreams. These dreams troubled him greatly. He wanted to know what they meant, so he gathered the smartest advisers he could find. Problem was he didn’t really trust them to give him the right answer. He was afraid that if he told the advisers the content of the dream then they would make something up to appease him. So old Neb made it hard on them! He commanded his advisers to tell him what he had dreamed and what it meant. Neb gave them no hint about the content of his dreams. Furthermore, he told them they would be torn limb from limb and their houses destroyed if they didn’t describe the dream accurately and give its meaning. As my old Papa would’ve said, “Neb put those fellows between a rock and a hard place.”
Of course the advisers couldn’t do what Neb wanted, so Neb ordered that all the wise men of Babylon were to be executed, even the ones like Daniel who hadn’t even been involved. So now Daniel, an Israelite who had served loyally in Neb’s government while maintaining faithfulness to the One True God, was in grave trouble along with some of his fellow Israelites who also served in Neb’s government. If ever there was a time to freak out, THIS WAS IT! But Daniel didn’t. Instead, here is what he did.
1. He kept a cool head. Typically at times like this we start hollering and pointing fingers and raising a ruckus. But Daniel stayed calm and sought information. The Scripture says “Daniel responded with tact and discretion.” He talked privately with the commander of Neb’s guard to find out what exactly was going on.
2. He exercised faith. Once Daniel understood why the king was mad, Daniel went directly to Neb himself and asked for some time so that Daniel might be able to fulfill the king’s request. Did Daniel know Neb’s dream at this point or have an interpretation for it? No, but he had faith the Lord would provide it at the right time. Daniel found favor with Neb and was granted additional time.
3. He prayed for God’s provision. And what did Daniel do with his extra time? He organized an urgent prayer effort. He enlisted his friends to join him in petitioning God for help. They asked the Lord to reveal the mystery to Daniel. They acknowledged that they were at God’s mercy and trusted in Him to provide.
4. He praised God for His provision. God revealed the mystery to Daniel and Daniel immediately gave praise to God. He didn’t get impressed with himself and rush off to make a big splash with the king. He gave thanks to God and worshiped Him.
5. He followed through. With confidence in the Lord, Daniel requested an audience with Neb. In the pagan king’s presence Daniel did not claim credit, but gave glory to God. He then told Neb exactly what the Lord had told him. Neb was so moved that he paid homage both to Daniel and to Daniel’s God: “Your God is indeed God of Gods!” The result was Daniel and his friends were promoted to positions of higher authority in Neb’s government.
So, the next time you’re between a rock and a hard place, don’t sweat bullets. Remember Daniel. Better yet, remember the Lord and Who it is that’s on your side. There will always be some Nebs who make our lives more exciting than we want them to be. But you have a King bigger than Neb!