Extra Credit?

But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have . . .”—Daniel 2:30 (ESV)

God gave King Nebuchadnezzar a disturbing dream, leaving him restless and confused. He wants answers! But none of his “go to” spiritual advisors can pass the preliminary challenge of telling him what his dream was, let alone interpret it. Enraged by their uselessness, Nebuchadnezzar issues an edict to have all of them killed.   

But there’s a young Hebrew way down the depth chart, Daniel, who prays and receives God’s revelation of the dream, as well as its interpretation! With many lives hanging in the balance, Daniel does what nobody else could, he describes the details of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream: “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image . . . The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. This was the dream . . .” (Daniel 2:31-36 ESV).

Daniel perfectly recounts the king’s dream and goes on to reveal its elusive meaning. But before moving on to Daniel’s remarkable interpretation, let’s consider something equally remarkable: his humility!

Notice what Daniel says before he even shares the dream, “But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have.” In other words, “I’m about to tell you something that’s going to blow your mind, but don’t give me any credit, I’m nothing special.”

When he could have really worked the moment to his advantage, Daniel understood that it was his God that was worthy of all glory, not him. He pointed the focus away from himself and onto the Lord of heaven; and what a powerful example he sets for us in doing so!

God is going to do amazing things through His followers. But His followers must avoid the temptation to take any personal credit for it. We must remember, no matter what the Lord might do through us, we are nothing apart from Him. He is the One who works in and through us, and to Him belongs all the credit, glory, and acclaim.  

DIG: What stands out about Daniel before he reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s dream? 

DISCOVER: In what ways are you tempted to take credit for what God does? 

DO: Speak with a trusted Christian mentor or pastor about ways you can safeguard against this subtle temptation.