Saturday, September 8, 2012

dreams of doom

Good morning friends,
First, a note about worship tomorrow: we'll being doing a back to school themed worship. Please bring a backpack or briefcase, a stethoscope or calculator: something that represents starting the school year (if you're a student) or your work if you aren't. We'll conclude worship by blessing your work and study.

Today's reading is a great story about the abuse and fear that comes with power. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that scares him, so he desperately wants to understand it. At the same time he is afraid that his wise men will make something up; he's feeling vulnerable. So he commands and threatens them to not only interpret the dream, but also to tell him what he dreamed to prove that they have insight. Much of the Book of Daniel is stories that suggest that even though the king has nearly absolute power, he is not really in charge. His power is threatened often by underlings who seek to manipulate him and by the fact that, even when we pretend otherwise, human power is always limited.

Blessings on your weekend,

Daniel 2:1-12
In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed such dreams that his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. 2So the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. When they came in and stood before the king, 3he said to them, “I have had such a dream that my spirit is troubled by the desire to understand it.”

4The Chaldeans said to the king (in Aramaic), “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will reveal the interpretation.” 5The king answered the Chaldeans, “This is a public decree: if you do not tell me both the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. 6But if you do tell me the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.”

7They answered a second time, “Let the king first tell his servants the dream, then we can give its interpretation.” 8The king answered, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see I have firmly decreed: 9if you do not tell me the dream, there is but one verdict for you. You have agreed to speak lying and misleading words to me until things take a turn. Therefore, tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation.”

10The Chaldeans answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can reveal what the king demands! In fact no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11The thing that the king is asking is too difficult, and no one can reveal it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.” 12Because of this the king flew into a violent rage and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed.

No comments:

Post a Comment