Amongst many other things, today’s passage from Daniel reminds a contemporary Christian about God’s time. All in God’s time.
I thought of a county song (shared here, but be warned it is country with a capital twangy “C”) which proclaims this truth to be revealed even in our dreams – the kind of day dreams, wishful dreams that we have about our little lives. What we will grow up to be. Who we will be partnered with. Where we will live. How we shall live. And for how long. As a child of God we wonder about our dreams and how they will be worked out in God’s time. Not like the King of Babylon. He didn’t consider himself a child of our God. But he did have a dream. A different kind of dream. A prophetic dream which Daniel was left to interpret.
Daniel who had been gifted with dream interpretation (a holy spirit gift) describes with some level of anxiety to King Nebuchadnezzar ‘s that his dream was a a cautionary tale, of sorts.
25 You shall be driven away from human society, and your dwelling shall be with the wild animals. You shall be made to eat grass like oxen, you shall be bathed with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, until you have learned that the Most High has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals, and gives it to whom he will.
I hear the Spirit describing through Daniel’s interpretation to the King the process of sanctification; that is, this is the way God works in each of us and in the world. God’s hand is a disciplining hand. It is a tough love type of discipling to bring us (in this case the King) back in line with Him. And here, Daniel says it will be seventy years worth of work. God will bring down the kingdom he gave the King seven times until the people recognize and have learned that no higher sovereign in the universe is God and that God is in control of absolutely everything.
God’s love is a disciplining, perfecting, sanctifying love that will reconcile and make right each of us who seek Him. In this biblical moment, it is the King and His chosen people who are being sanctified, disciplined, worked on, redeemed. There was nothing to do but to anticipate and, as Daniel urged the King, take heed:
27Therefore, O king, may my counsel be acceptable to you: atone for* your sins with righteousness, and your iniquities with mercy to the oppressed, so that your prosperity may be prolonged.’
In kinder, softer, language, was Daniel saying to the King, “Don’t get a head of yourself. Slow down. Let go. Let God. God will have His way, anyway, in the end. Pay attention. See God at work not just in your dream, but in your life,”?
We can’t do anything to expedite this process. God’s will be done on and in as God ordains it to be. And in His time everything makes sense in this crazy world, as country crooner Hauser sang.
Indeed. In God’s time even crazy dreams make sense.