This is an expanded version of the first article I wrote on this blog: Daniel – A Man of Light, Understanding & Wisdom.
Dan 12:4 But you, Daniel, keep these words secret and seal the book until the time of the end…
Consider how God tells Daniel to “keep these words secret and seal the book”. The implication is that God has secrets (or mysteries) that are awaiting a time to be revealed. Another implication is that these secrets are something we will understand at the proper time, like a puzzle that can be solved once we have the final clue, or like a dream that finally makes sense once one has the correct interpretation.
But what if God had Daniel shut up the book not simply because the things written were for another generation, but what if they were also shut up awaiting a generation that perceives things as Daniel did?
In other words, what if we have missed the point here? What if the secrets here are not mere “facts” that our minds will intellectually understand, but what if these secrets (or mysteries) require an entirely different way of seeing things? What if God has been waiting for those who are wise as Daniel was and not as our Western mindset comprehends wisdom? What if Daniel had unlocked a key to the wisdom needed to understand the mysteries of God?
It is my view that God is looking for a new Daniel generation; what we could call the Code Breaker generation. It’s a generation that sees the things that God has hidden all around us. Things that are in plain view if only we see as He does. Things that have been embedded into the very fabric of the universe since the time of creation. Things that bare the very signature of a God who not only created everything but also indued His creation with the elements of His character.
Not only did God stamp his signature into the world at its creation, but He is actively involved by His Spirit moving over His creation. Even more significantly, He has breathed His life into us, filled us with His Spirit and we now impart a measure of His touch as we live out our daily lives.
The point here is that revelation of God’s mysteries is not restricted to heavenly visions or the study of Hebrew and Greek words used in scripture. Revelation is available all around us — if we know how to look for it. We may long for God to unseal the books of Daniel, and yet so much has already been unsealed all around us — from DNA to the galaxies. The key is to be wise as Daniel was in understanding what has been opened to us.
Dan 5:11 There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him…
I have been intrigued by this verse in Daniel. It says that Daniel was found to have “light and understanding and wisdom”. When I initially looked up these words I found that all three can be translated as “wisdom”. But obviously, one does not describe something by using three words that ultimately mean the same thing. The words must convey some subtle differences that are hard to convey in an English translation, and thus I decided to look deeper.
The first word is “nehiyr“, a noun that can be translated as “light, illumination or wisdom”, but note how it is used in this verse:
Dan 2:22 He reveleth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.
This verse makes the meaning clearer. Because Daniel had a light that dwelled within him, he was able to see what was in the darkness, or really what was hidden from others. This light brought illumination to secret things allowing Daniel to know things that others did not know. Thus, one could say that the usage of “nehiyr” here means to have a light that reveals knowledge and things hidden from others.
The second word used in Daniel 5:11 is “soklethanuw“, a noun that can be translated as “wisdom, insight or understanding”, but this word is derived from the verb “sekal” which means “to consider or to contemplate”. In other words, “soklethanuw” means that Daniel could consider and contemplate matters and that would lead him to an understanding of them.
The third word used in Daniel 5:11 is “chokmah“, a noun that can be translated as “wisdom, skill, shrewdness, prudence, the comprehending of various learning, or the wisdom ascribed to a ruler or king”. But this word is derived from the verb “chakam” which means “to be wise, to become wise, to act wisely or to judge and hence to rule wisely”. In other words, “chokmah” means that Daniel could learn and comprehend allowing him to become wise and giving him the ability to make shrewd judgments — just like a wise ruler or king should be able to.
To sum this up, when the verse says that Daniel was found to have “light and understanding and wisdom”, this means that Daniel had a light within him that illuminated and revealed things hidden from others, things that he also had the ability to contemplate in a way that led to a true understanding of them, an understanding that he could then apply his wisdom to in order to make shrewd judgments. The accumulation of these abilities enabled Daniel to function as a ruler which is why king Nebuchadnezzar appointed Daniel as the “master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans and soothsayers” — supposedly the wise people of the day.
These other wise people may have had their own abilities, knowledge and talents, but clearly they didn’t have the combination of all three attributes that Daniel had.
What we can learn from this is that we don’t simply want knowledge, understanding and wisdom. We don’t even want simply the ability to bring understanding to the knowledge of man by applying the wisdom we have from God and scriptures.
No, we want God’s illumination of things that are hidden and missed by others who do not have His light. We want real understanding that is birthed from contemplation in the presence of God, by living in His Spirit. And we want comprehension on how to act prudently that is based on insight and wisdom derived from the heart of God.
To be like Daniel is to have God’s light within us illuminating mysteries and knowledge. To be like Daniel is to have our contemplation and understanding be guided by His Spirit and character. And to be like Daniel is to have our decisions and judgments be ascribed to the nature and wisdom of God.
Daniel was found to have light and understanding and wisdom. May we be found to be able to illuminate things that are darkened to the world, to be able to contemplate with the mind of Christ and bring understanding to the things that have been illuminated, and to be able to make wise judgments on how to act based on the understanding of the things that have been illuminated.
In short, Daniel was able to step into spheres of authority and rulership because he had wisdom on how to prudently act based on a contemplative understanding of mysteries that had been illuminated by the light of God within him.
Or simply, Daniel was a man found to have light and understanding and wisdom.
But this is where we often miss what was truly unique with Daniel. He not only had light and understanding and wisdom, but he also didn’t separate them into separate spheres of heart, mind and spirit as we typically do with the Western mindset. To us contemplation and understanding are elements of our minds and intellect. Light and illumination are elements of our spirit. Wisdom largely flows from our hearts and souls.
But this is not the way Daniel saw it.
Instead, Daniel pulled on God’s wisdom each step of the way. Think about it. Step one is the illumination phase when God’s light reveals things that have been hidden from others. Step two is the contemplation phase when our minds seek the mind of Christ and to perceive how God understands what has been illuminated. Step three is the wisdom phase where we seek the discernment of God on what to do about it.
Each phase requires our spirits to hear what God is showing us. Each phase requires our carnal hearts to be subjected to the heavenly ways of seeing things. Each phase requires our minds to perceive as His mind does.
In other words, wisdom doesn’t simply come down from God to help us with insight and understanding, but Godly wisdom is a comprehensive aspect of His character that is meant to transform our hearts, minds and spirits so that all aspects of our lives function as He does in His heavenly realm. All three must be renewed. All three must follow Him. All three must be linked by and to Him.
This is wisdom. This is how deep mysteries will be revealed. This is how the codes will be broken.
This is what will make us the Code Breakers, the revealers of the mysteries of the living God.
Does this make sense to you?