Knowledge Beyond Our Capacity

Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed.

“While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. He who reveals secrets has shown you what is going to happen. And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.”

Daniel 2:27-30 New Living Translation

Daniel faced a desperate situation in Daniel 2. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that so disturbed him that he demanded that his magicians tell him what he dreamed AND the meaning in order to know that their interpretation was trustworthy. When the magician told the king how impossible his request was, he became so angry he demanded that all the wise men in his empire be executed, including Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. When Daniel heard about the situation, he asked for time to pray to God for an answer to the king’s demand. God answered and Daniel was brought to Nebuchadnezzar to interpret the dream.

When Daniel delivered the answer to Nebuchadnezzar, he was careful to point the king to the true source of wisdom. Daniel did not use the wisdom God gave him for his own benefit (although, Nebuchadnezzar did promote him after this). Like the magicians and enchanters before him, he knew that the king’s request was beyond his own ability. He acknowledged his own lack of ability but told Nebuchadnezzar that God was able to reveal things beyond his human capacity. When the king heard his dream and the interpretation come out of Daniel’s mouth, he could do nothing but acknowledge that the God of Daniel had more power than any other god he had known before. Yahweh’s name became more known among the Babylonian people through what he had done through Daniel.

Sometimes we face impossible situations beyond our capacity to understand what to do. In those times we have a source of knowledge and wisdom beyond our capacity through the work of God and the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul in one of his letters to Jesus followers in Corinth mentions words of wisdom and words of knowledge as two of the gifts the Holy Spirit gives to those He has empowered. When God blesses us with these types of gifts, though, we need to be sure to acknowledge the source of the knowledge and wisdom and not seek glory for ourselves. The ultimate purpose of these gifts is to make the name of Jesus known to those who do not know Him yet.

Thank you, God, that you are the source of knowledge and wisdom beyond our capacity. Help us to remember to always acknowledge you as our source.

Published by llongard

I grew up in northeast Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University and graduated 1992 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Humanities. I spent most of the next fifteen years in the Twin Cities area until my family and I moved to Indiana in 2007. For most of the first seventeen years after college, I was involved in university ministry either as a volunteer, bi-vocational, or full-time campus minister. Through those years, I also worked in the main street marketplace as a retail manager/trainer and as a service representative in the insurance industry. I've also worked in various education roles. Most recently, I have been working on various projects addressing homelessness in Indianapolis and as team lead for Diakonos Community, a Communitas International missional initiative. Through this ministry, we seek to build missional communities in Indianapolis that serve and bring the life of Christ to those on the margins of society. Our strategy is to collaborate with community agencies that serve those in need and share Christ through meaningful relationships. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, three amazing daughters, and two cats (can't forget the cats, LOL). As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, gardening, and going to the YMCA together. I also enjoy fishing, riding bicycle, and being involved in whatever my daughters are doing. Though I have not lived in the Green Bay area for over 20 years, I am still a major Packer fan.

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