Doing the Impossible

Then the king answered, ‘I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.’ The astrologers answered the king, ‘There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.’”—Daniel 2:8–11 (NIV)

Well, that escalated quickly! To say that these wise men were in a pickle would be an understatement. Can you imagine being put in this situation? Have you ever been put in a seemingly impossible situation by an authority figure above you? An expectation that you couldn’t possibly meet. That’s exactly what happened here in Daniel 2. 

King Nebuchadnezzar basically told them, “Hey, I had a bad dream. It’s upsetting me. I want to know what it means. Oh, by the way, I’m not going to tell you what the dream was. You tell me what it was and then tell me what it means or I’m going to have you all killed, because if you can’t do this crazy, impossible thing I’m asking then you’re all frauds.”

Let’s be honest . . . what the king was asking of these men to do seemed quite impossible. On the surface, it was unreasonable and unrealistic. But who cares? He was the king. He had all the power and he could make whatever demands he wanted and carry out whatever punishment he wanted, no matter how unreasonable and ridiculous. And they even tried to make him see that in verses 10 and 11. They tell him, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks!” They make it clear that “What the king asks is too difficult.” And again . . . they were right. 

No one on earth could possibly do such a thing, it’s impossible! But do you know who could accomplish the impossible? Our impossible God, whose glory goes on and on. You see, if we, like these astrologers and sages, try to rely on our own gifts, talents, strength, wisdom, and power, we will undoubtedly reach a moment of failure. We will assuredly face a mountain we can’t climb, an equation we can’t solve, a problem we can’t fix, or a dream we didn’t have and can’t understand. For us, there is a whole lot of impossible every day, “but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26 NIV). 

When we press into Him, when we stop relying on our own strength and understanding and seek after Him and ask Him to reveal His will and work in, through, and around us, impossible things can be done in His name! How so? Because unlike with these sages, who said, “No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans,” we can say that “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14 NIV). And when we receive Him, He makes His dwelling within us, transforms us from the inside out, and “works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV).

DIG: Think of a time when you’ve been asked to do something seemingly impossible. How did you react?

DISCOVER: What does the Bible tell us about the impossible? How does God want us to approach seemingly impossible situations?

DO: Thank the Lord today for Jesus—the Word who became flesh and made His dwelling among us, within us—who enabled us to see, experience, and walk in “his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14b NIV).