at last daniel came in before me—he who was named belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—and i told him the dream, saying, “o belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because i know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you, tell me the visions of my dream that i saw and their interpretation. the visions of my head as i lay in bed were these: i saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. the tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. the beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.
“i saw in the visions of my head as i lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. he proclaimed aloud and said thus: ‘chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. let him be wet with the dew of heaven. let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him. the sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the most high rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’ this dream i, king nebuchadnezzar, saw. and you, o belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.” [daniel 4:8-18]
nebuchadnezzar finally goes to the right source for wisdom.
notice the first two words of this passage. at last. he had exhausted all of his other resources of wisdom and when they had failed, he called the one who he knew would have an answer. he then gives credit where credit is due. he doesn’t praise daniel. he doesn’t flatter him or puff him up. he knows that daniel’s wisdom is the work of a higher power within him. and so the king gives himself and his troubles over to this wisdom.
let us not be like king nebuchadnezzar! let us not go to the wisdom of the world to know what it is we should do in this life! let us not go to cultural norms for wisdom. let us not go to self help books for wisdom. let us not go to mere human logic for wisdom. we have been given such wisdom in Christ! in Christ we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us. in Christ we have the written word of God, in which we have been given everything we need for life and godliness. and in Christ, we have been given the mind of Christ. so where are you seeking your wisdom?
if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. [james 1:5]
Father, you are all-knowing and all-wise God. your ways are above our ways. your wisdom is higher than any other. help us to trust you. show us that you are the supplier of wisdom, and that your wisdom never fails. amen.
~ arwen eastman