“He changes the times and seasons, He removes kings, gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who know understanding ” Daniel 2:21
Change starts with God Himself. An absolute undeniable fact demonstrated in the exchange between God and Daniel.
As a student of the Word we must always look at the context of what we bring as an exposition. We cannot take a verse out and use it to establish Biblical principle, we must establish a historical; spiritual and prophetic perspective out of what we are trying to convey.
There are 4 dimensions to the verse which undergird the changes that come upon the earth and upon our lives.
1. He changes times and seasons
2. He removes kings
3. He gives wisdom
4. He gives knowledge to those who know understanding
1 He changes times and seasons
I think in the Old Testament this principle had all to do with the covenant people. In the New Testament it has all to do with the Church and finally the restoration and reconciliation of Israel with their Messiah, our Yeshua. The times and seasons here to which Daniel is referring is that which touches Babylon, and in consequence Israel in captivity. I have extensively studied the Captivity and in the Court of the King one constant remains: God has a man or woman there fighting and praying for captive Israel. We see Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace, has a long stay right through to Darius.
What he has seen prophetically is Babylon weaken and the vision given to him is the dream given to Nebuchadnezzar. What is shown is a statue of various natural elements weaker as you go down. It is not many years in the reign of his grandson Belshazzar that Babylon is overthrown. The time has come for the Medes and Persians. The season is coming for Cyrus to liberate Israel from her bonds.
God changes the times because seasons in Him need to mould the type of heart He desires in His Covenant people. When you compare the idolatrous people taken captive and their homes and temple destroyed! Their identity taken away and the version of Old Testament migrants is visible to all. This crisis of identity and of faith when the structure is taken away or destroyed is a radical demonstration of where God is taking not only Israel but the whole world through Yeshua.
I have touched on this before but Jeremiah discharges in chapter 29 the specific nature of their captivity in that it would last 70 years! It was necessary to accept it as God’s response to their hard heartedness, stubbornness. It was necessary to obey and honour their captors, settle down and accept it for the long haul.
From the prophetic a clear declaration of the change of times and seasons is a necessary process we need to understand in terms of how God operates and how we flow in Him this day.
When we consider the heart break of Jeremiah at the utter devastation and displacement as a result we can grasp the situation in Syria today, or even the outrage that surrounds Grenfell Tower in London. Devastation on different levels but displacement all the same.
It is our relationship to God that gives us the way God maps out His programme on the earth in terms of time, and season.
They are clearly defined in the New Testament Greek. They come in two words KRONOS and KAIROS. God changes the time so that His KAIROS season can be fufilled. In Daniel, he is in the midst of a established KAIROS (season)of 70 years (Kronos) it is interesting to note that in this instance the KRONOS is defined exactly as is the KAIROS. Very few times are like that. God shows Daniel the way He was going to restore Israel. Israel would have the way prepared from the Palace through Daniel. From the ground where the captives lived at Kedar river there was Ezekiel speaking to their hearts so that they would not forget their God and prepare them to believe for His Word to fulfil. Ezekiel was to encourage them to see the state of their hearts and see that as a key to seeing the restoration of their land and faith. Whilst we see Daniel having direct influence in high places, seeing Nebuchadnezzar confronted by God in his pride, removed from his kingdom and only when in a animal type state looks to heaven and acknowledges that His kingdom gives a kingdom to him by permission. He is restored and is submitted to the God of Daniel.
Drawing an application today, we must see that God has people who know times and seasons and how God works in the earth so that His Plan is manifest in His People. Changes come from the spiritual heavenly places and come through leadership generations.
2. He removes kings
We come back and see that God did a miracle with Daniel, kept him in the place of influence for the reign of many kings right up to the time God had allotted to restore His People to their land. We also see after him Esther also influenced the King of the day toward God’s people. The removal of leadership here is very pivotal in a sign of a change of season.
In my former series on Isaiah 6, the first words strike us “In the year that Uzziah died I saw the Lord” giving us a significant indicator of a change coming.
Bringing it to our modern day there have been very significant leadership changes. The ones that happen overnight which no-one can predict. On the Brexit referendum coming to a vote to leave. David Cameron resigning the day the vote is declared.
The election of Donald Trump against all odds. Nobody today evokes so much controversy and comment than he.
They tell us that as these changes are sudden I suspect they indicate the sort of movements that occur in the heavenlies.
These movements are clearly exhibited in the prayer of Daniel which took 21 days and which the Angel explains the movements and resistances that occurs when the answer is given from the Throne. The Angel is withstood and Michael is sent to break the blockade. The answer to the prophetic understanding that the 70 years were over and was God about to fulfil the Word He spoke through Jeremiah.
The answer shows the kings as spiritual princes who were coming and going. The answer was the following;
The Word shall be fulfilled because it is pivotal for my people Israel to return to their land, build their temple for there is one coming who shall shape the destiny of the whole world.
So from this dimension you can see why there was war in the heavenlies!
The removal of kings is always a contributing factor for the fulfilment of programmes of the eternal objective to be fulfilled on the earth.
3. Gives wisdom to the wise
The wisdom here is specifically the virtue Daniel possessed. And we have also access.
The King has a dream but cannot remember it. He calls the people. Wise men. They cannot see into it. It is evident that the dream disturbed the King. It was a response to his musings before sleeping. God had spoken. Yet the King had forgotten it. Daniel sought God and the vision is seen. To the King it was a dream whilst to Daniel it was a vision. The wisdom God gives here is the reason for the dream, the interpretation and it’s application. The kingdom of Babylon would be substituted and each kingdom would be weaker until the Kingdom not made with hands is brought forth through the saints and Israel.
God wants to bring us into that mind of wisdom to those who live wisely before God. The wise will always have access to the hidden things of God.
Many voices abound today prophesying and predicting. We need more than prophecy, we need the insight of wisdom about the reason for the instability and weakness around the nation’s. What does this mean? And what is our place in It?
Joseph also many centuries before is presented with a ruler who also had a dream that would affect the whole known world. His wisdom saved not only the nation but the wisdom brought a family to Goshen which became a nation. The purpose revealed to Joseph is that God was about to change Israel into a nation. Israel as a nation of kings would eventually birth the King of Kings.
The Pharoah of the time was of the Hyksos dynasty which was weak and unstable. Many pharaohs went and new ones were put on the Throne. Contrast these pharaohs with the Pharoah of Moses time.
Instability in the rulership of nation’s is in direct correlation to the divine purposes at work.
4. And Knowledge to those who know understanding
God wants to raise up a people who have an understanding of the things of God. This walk of understanding brings forth divine knowledge that brings us revelation into the things God has programmed in the earth. He gives us understanding and knowledge as He considers us partners in that plan in our generation.
If you do not walk in understanding with God maybe looking at Isaiah 11 we will get a window into where it comes.
Isaiah 11: 2 ” And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest on Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding…”
So an encounter with this same Spirit would be the entry point to a walk and a life of understanding so that what comes to us from heaven is readily caught and received and can be rightly discerned and applied.
Too many today walk in their own understanding and the Church when it needs to speak does not.
So my friends and partners, where are you?
Daniel saw through in mission, in ministry, in prayer, in Revelation. He saw the restoration in spirit and brought it into action with influence and decree.
What hits me hard is how we need to ask the Father the same Spirit that Daniel possessed so that we in our places where God places us we can influence and minister, releasing the agents of Change for the Kingdom to manifest in fullness.