“Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.” Daniel 2:48
When King Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel the Chief of the Magi (Daniel 2:28) after he miraculously revealed the king’s dream and gave the interpretation, Daniel began to introduce the Magi to the true God. He began to teach them what any man of God, and man of the scriptures would teach them. He taught the scriptures that declared the coming Messiah. These ancient Chaldeans were great studiers of the stars and astronomy was their forte. I would imagine that Daniel drew their attention from the stars and introduced them to the One who created the stars! Genesis 1:14 tells us that God created the stars for signs, and seasons, and for days and years. The Chaldeans studied the stars. They were great students of the heavens.
You may find it interesting that it was from their ancient studies that the base-60 system of time was developed, by which we still measure time today – 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and so on.
As Daniel continued to rule as Chief of the Magi, they, like many other rulers throughout the provinces of the Babylonian Empire, grew to revere Daniel for his incomparable wisdom and his supernatural ability to reveal things that no other could. They said he had the spirit of the holy God! Among his teachings, I believe Daniel also taught talked about the prophecies concerning the stars and how God would reveal the birth of Messiah by the appearance of a Star! Numbers 24:17, 19; “I see Him, but not now; “I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel…” and then, in verse 19; “Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion…”
The Magi knew that this Star would appear in the 4,oooth year of human history. They knew its significance, that it would herald the birth of a great One in Israel, who would have a Scepter, and wield authority! The beginning of His reign of dominion would be marked by this Star! Down through the centuries they passed down this teaching to those who followed them, and as their interests grew, they were compelled to embrace the God of the Hebrews.
When the Star did appear, they were ready and waiting! They appealed to their king for the designation of gifts and treasures to this new King! They began their journey westward, loaded down with a great treasure, one befitting a King! Gifts that would bring them into favor with the One they believed would rule the world! When they found Him, He was about two years old. The Star, which was an angel, came and stood over by the child… When they came into the house they fell down and worshipped Him, and they opened their treasures, and they also presented Him with gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh!
Five Hundred years before all this, stood a simple man named Daniel, who found himself in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar as a eunuch. He didn’t go with the flow of the others. He didn’t conform to the Babylonians or their gods. Instead, he walked by faith. Favor from the Holy Spirit brought a word of knowledge and an interpretation of a dream which brought him to prominence. He used that position to remold the beliefs and the existing norms of the Magi. He helped mobilize the Magi, who would bring the riches that would fund the greatest mission in human history – the Redemption of Mankind! Daniel’s love for God and obedience to His Word, brought ongoing provision far past his own generation! It’s truly an amazing story!
Yet, you and I have a better Covenant that Daniel had, based on better promises with a bird’s eye view of Redemption that Daniel didn’t have!
Let’s go into the coming year confident that ongoing provisions from the New Covenant will make room for us as we choose to walk in the reality of His promises – all of which are “Yes, and Amen, according to the power that works in us!” (2 Cor. 1:20)