“But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.” (Daniel 2:30)
Why in the world would Daniel say a thing like that?
Here he was, about to reveal to Nebuch- adnezzar his supposedly forgotten dream and its meaning. This man was at the pinnacle of human power, so much so that even Daniel called him the king of kings later on in the passage. The young prophet held in his mind the key to saving his own neck, as well as those of every other wise man in the empire. He also was the possessor of an interpretation the king was willing to exchange for a fortune. So, a candid and unflattering statement like this one is not what we would expect.
A more normal attitude would have been to approach the royal throne with the secret excitement of having a priceless bit of news. What an opportunity to launch himself into prominence! To exploit the situation for personal gain was certainly what most of his peers would have done.
Sure, there was a certain amount of risk involved. Nebuchadnezzar was no one to play around with. He could be extravagantly generous when happy. But, he also had a royally unpredictable temper, capable of exploding with demonically cruel vengeance at the slightest disappointment. It is doubtful anyone was ever very comfortable in his presence. Unless, that is, you were someone like Daniel.
Although he may well have rehearsed his words as he walked towards the palace, his speech conveyed a striking sense of peace and tranquility. It was not a trembling, cowering wimp that informed the king that he could call off the execution squad and quit searching for answers.
Oh, he was respectful and courteous. But, he was also so totally confident in God’s control of the situation that he could be amazingly frank. To Nebuchadnezzar’s surprise, and ours as well, he shared his completely honest opinion of himself.
Even though he had the treasured information, he considered himself to be nobody special. He was simply the fortunate servant of Israel’s God; a privileged spokesman, yes, but just another man.
This level of integrity is rare, even among believers. While we may not go around looking for ways to crown ourselves with fame or notoriety, if the chance happens to land in front of us, we do not hesitate to take advantage of it.
What a pleasure it is to meet a believer who really does not care who or how many people know him or think highly of him, but whose only concern is that God receive all the glory possible. This Christian will not be trying to hide anything about himself, nor displaying any of his accomplishments, nor coloring the facts for his own benefit. Like Daniel, he is totally content in the reality of who he is and Who God is.
Dear Father, guard me from any craving for personal recognition or honor. Remind me often that any good thing I have is an undeserved gift. Make me so fully confident in You that in any place, and before any person, I can be completely honest about myself.