“Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon.” Daniel 2:17-18
Daniel and his friends petitioned God to spare them from the king’s deadly decree. The Babylonian wise men sought the answer in the stars; Daniel and his friends sought mercies from “the God of heaven. The best the astrologers could do was get to the stars, but Daniel knew the God who made the stars—the God in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. While the wise men of Babylon were shaking in their boots, here were four young Jewish men on their knees before God. Daniel and his friends were certain that if they didn’t lift up their voices in prayer, soon they might not have voices to lift up. That night God revealed to Daniel not only the dream but also its interpretation.
Daniel and his friends are presented as men of faith and prayer. They were far from home, but by faith they could “look toward Jerusalem and the temple and claim the promise of God. “If your people go out where you send them to fight their enemies, and if they pray to the Lord by turning toward this city you have chosen and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name, then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause.” (1 Kings 8:44-45) The God of heaven would hear their prayers and answer them for His own glory.
The word “secret” (raz) is used eight times in this chapter and is the equivalent of the Greek word mysterion (“mystery”), which is used twenty-eight times in the New Testament. It means “a hidden truth that is revealed only to the initiated.” God had hidden prophetic truth in the dream and He enabled His servant to know both the dream and its interpretation and to understand God’s future plans. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16)