I remember when I was younger and would go through my mom’s magazines, there was always an advert page dedicated for psychics and their contacts, horoscope readings detailing what all the signs would be facing that month. As I was reading Daniel, I thought to myself that if magazines were a thing back in Babylon, it would’ve sold well. In the ancient world, it was the New York City of style, glamour, beauty and astrology. Like Babylon, our society is fast, affluent and captivated with new-age mysticism.
This is why Daniel 2 is so relevant today; it’s an amazing account of how a believer should live in the midst of an idolatrous, sensual culture where it’s being swept by the latest new-age trend.
Nebuchadnezzar has a bizarre dream, and he demands that his astrologers not only interpret it but also recount it. And should they fail, it’s “off with their heads”! In response, Daniel shows deep concern, not only for himself and his friends but also for hundreds of others who were at risk. Daniel cared about the society in which he was living in, and he’s not about to let fanaticism destroy it.
This is a model for how we should relate to the people of our day. For it is Daniel’s character that gains him favor; the king’s official is about to spread terror, but Daniel stops him with tactful, wise words (v.14). Daniel urges his friends to pray diligently, demonstrating his utter dependence on God (v.18). Daniel shows compassion toward the magicians and astrologers who are about to lose their lives; he pleads on their behalf because he knows the king’s edict is unjust (v.24). He is humble before the king and careful to give glory to God for what he is about say (v.27-28).
Daniel boldly unveils God’s awesome plan. And what is God’s plan for the ages after all earthly kingdoms fail? Verse 44 says “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed”. The stone described in verse 45 is none other than Christ, on whom the church is built (Eph. 2:19-20). He is our cornerstone. In today’s society and when faced with a similar situation, let us remember to boldly proclaim the Rock of our salvation.