Dan 2:1 Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him.
Dan 2:2 Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.
Dan 2:3 The king said to them, "I had a dream and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream."
Dan 2:4 Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: "O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation."
Nebuchadnezzar became the king of Babylon in 605ad and in that same year, he invades and captures Judah and it is important to remember that Daniel and his mates were enrolled in a Three Year College Course at the time of these events. Most teachers and Preachers, I've heard teach this, get the time line all confused on this. (Just today. Mar. 12, 2013, God must have slapped my head because I, now, see it.) Remember this for the first few chapters, it matters.
The King has been around the court long enough to have learned how the Court Jesters (conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans) pull off some of their tricks and he wants the true answer.

There is a Life Application here that Saved and Lost, alike, must learn, “You cannot trust Witches and Sooth Sayers. The King hit them up beside the head with one they did not see coming. Daniel has not been more than and perhaps, less than, a year in his training for the King's service and they cannot know of his God given ability yet. Now, Ole Neb has, no doubt, grown up with all the Urban and Country Legends of the “Great Fortune Tellers” of old and from the text it is clear he is a believer in such but he has also watched the Court Jesters entertain, also!

The Court Jesters just need to figure out how they are going to convince the King they are not what they are and escape certain death.
Dan 2:5 The king replied to the Chaldeans, "The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap.
Dan 2:6 "But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation."
Dan 2:7 They answered a second time and said, "Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation."
These men are desperate! They do not know the One True God and have only the same powers available to any of us and I can tell you truthfully, had I never read the book of Daniel I should have no idea what the king had dreamed.

From this passage we should learn an important life lesson worthy of being taught to every member of the Human Race. There is a world full of knowledge that, as individuals, we might never know. If we consider this passage in conjunction with the story of the Tower of Babel it becomes, quite, clear about why God confused the tongues of everyone. When the World's population exchanged ideas freely there was not only nothing they could dream up, there also was nothing short of death to contain their efforts.

In this case, the King, obviously, thinks and believes he has, at the least, seen cases where dreams were known and explained by another. That places these, ordinary, human-beings between the proverbial rock and a hard spot. Nebuchadnezzar, left alone, is about to prove these men to be charlatans.
Dan 2:8 The king replied, "I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm,
Dan 2:9 that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation."
Dan 2:10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, "There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean.
Dan 2:11 "Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh."
Suddenly King Nebuchadnezzar makes the truth obvious to them, leaving no wiggle room. These men have homes, full of children and their wives, perhaps, even more, and all of them, even the building, is in danger from the king and his wrath. They have as much as agreed with the king that they are not what they present themselves to be and Nebuchadnezzar is not a happy man.

Just like these men, when we build our castles on the shifting sand we are bound for disaster. i.e. When my wife and I bought our Mobile Home and land, we never meant to move it but the Sandy Loam it is seated on had different ideas. For about ten years I had to, periodically, jack parts of the frame up and shim it to remain there so we could open and cloise the front door. Eight years later, we are blessed by the LORD because it has remained stable as I have become crippled.

These shamen have not allowed for the need, in my case a jack and shims, and in their case, the need of God, the living God! As you shop, as you go to work or as you enter the Theater, look around you. Are you like these, unprepared to approach God with you every need? Or, are you another Daniel or maybe another poor farmer like the Powerful Dynomo, Elijah? Are you available for God to use?
Dan 2:12 Because of this the king became indignant and very furious and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
Dan 2:13 So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them.
Dan 2:14 Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to Arioch, the captain of the king's bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon;
Dan 2:15 he said to Arioch, the king's commander, "For what reason is the decree from the king so urgent?" Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter.
Dan 2:16 So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.
Dan 2:17 Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter,
Dan 2:18 so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Whenwe begin to study the Word of God we must remember, always, to pray and to submit to the teaching and the leading of the Holy Spirit. As I began this read of Daniel 2 I was struck, a head slap, by the Holy Spirit with a truth I had never seen before, King Nebuchadnezzar had not been king for two years yet, maybe just over a years and I, like all human beings jumed to a conclusion. Before I reread this passage I had Daniel and cohorts safe from the decree because they had just began their courses in the King's College.

I am rebuked by folks calling themselves Christian, al the time, for what I have just done, put it into context and the context is the entire Bible from, “In the beginning...” through the very last “Amen” of the Revelation of Jesus, chapter 22. It is my view that all great and small heresies begin with jerking a scripture or a small group of scripture out of context.

Daniel leans from the executioner that he, his friends and all the Courts Jesters are going to die because the King's Advisors have been revealed to be fools. Daniel seeks to and is granted to appear before the Throne to be given time to get the answer for the King. When it is granted, David went straight to the Boys in the Hood and enlisted them in the Group Effort to pray for the Answer from the source, God.
Dan 2:19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven;
Dan 2:20 Daniel said, "Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him.
Dan 2:21 "It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.
Dan 2:22 "It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.
Dan 2:23 "To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king's matter."
Notice, please, Daniel did not run straight to the king with the answer! Daniel fell on his face, in Thankful Worship to the Giver of everything! This, if you never learn another thing from the Book of Daniel, is one Life Application you cannot live a proper life without learning. Far to often (I am guilty also) we run off after God answers our prayer and forget Him.

A short Bill parable is due here for an example. The 30,000 lb over loaded driver is approacnhing an intersection at 93 mph and his brakes have failed and the drivers, all six cars, are parked there at the Red Light and the stream from both directions is unending. Right away he prays, “LORD, get me out f this with no death and I'll go anywhere you lead.” Just then the light goes green and he says, “Never mind LORD, I've got this one!”

That is one way we abuse God and shame on every one of us.
Dan 2:24 Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and spoke to him as follows: "Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Take me into the king's presence, and I will declare the interpretation to the king."
Dan 2:25 Then Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel into the king's presence and spoke to him as follows: "I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!"
Dan 2:26 The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, "Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?"
Dan 2:27 Daniel answered before the king and said, "As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king.
Dan 2:28 "However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.
Dan 2:29 "As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place.
Dan 2:30 "But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.
Right off the bat Daniel continues to worship his Saviour and in the presence of the man holding the power of life and death over him. Daniel is in the perfect position to glorify himself but instead pours out all the glory to his God... at the feet of the man thatr has taken his nation, captive, and believes inpagan gods. Daniel demonstrates a great deal of trust in God and would be considered brave by both believer and unbeliever. Forty or more times we are instructed to “fear not” by God in the scriptures and yet it seems to be the number one most difficult imperative from our God from God.

Just like Daniel, the day my career ended, after my wife had already been forcefully retired because of disability, I prayed. Was I worried... you bet cha I was, we had just figured what to cut back to get by and then the other shoe hit the floor putting all our plans to naught. We, first, determined not to cease giving of our tithes and of ourselves and although it took some time to see it, God was at work, already, and we never missed a meal because of our circumstances.

Daniel, my wife and I were taken to our Brook Kerith, just as Elijah was when he was sentenced to death by Jezebel. One thing I believe every Christian should undertake is a study of the men of the Bible, from it great lessons for life... our life are there to be learned and applied to ours.
Dan 2:31 "You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome.
Dan 2:32 "The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze,
Dan 2:33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
Dan 2:34 "You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them.
Dan 2:35 "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
Dan 2:36 "This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king.
Dan 2:37 "You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory;
Dan 2:38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold.
Dan 2:39 "After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.
Dan 2:40 "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces.
Dan 2:41 "In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay.
Dan 2:42 "As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle.
Dan 2:43 "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.
Dan 2:44 "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.
Dan 2:45 "Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy."
I can just imagine King Nebuchadnezzar sitting there with his mouth slightly agape only because his hand keeps it from falling closer to the Throne Room floor. Because our Saviour, the Creator of all that is, has given Daniel the dream and it's interpretation, he has just recounted it to the king without a single flaw and then told the king he had been blessed by the God of the world with the knowledge of the future.
Dan 2:46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense.
Dan 2:47 The king answered Daniel and said, "Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery."
Dan 2:48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.
Dan 2:49 And Daniel made request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the king's court.
There have always been rewards for, faithfully, following God and here we find a great example. These four young Jewish men have, by no measure finished their second year of their three years King's College and they are promoted, say, mid-term., to the very best and most important positions.

We need to look at this chapter and be inspired to do a Spiritual Inventory of our commitment to God. To begin, “How sold out to God are you?”
I have known this story of Daniel before, but I can truly say I know it better now. I agree of course with the life lessons you mention and say thanks for this post