Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him.
To you, O God of my fathers,
I give thanks and praise,
for you have given me wisdom and might,
and have now made known to me what we asked of you,
for you have made known to us the king’s matter.” Daniel 1:19-23 ESV
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. Romans 16:25-27 ESV
In ancient Babylon, magicians and wise men had different ways to try to learn what the future would hold, and to find the hidden answers to secrets and mysteries. Like many people, they looked to the stars for guidance. Another way the Babylonians tried to uncover hidden things in the future was to look at the liver of a sheep. They thought that the liver was the source of blood and of life for the body, so they thought it had magical powers. The sheep would be sacrificed, and then a wise man would look at its liver. Even today there is a clay model of a liver in the British Museum that Babylonian wise men used to predict how a person’s illness would turn out. There were different features that he would look for on the liver that would give him clues about the patient’s future and whether or not the sick person would get well again.
Daniel and his friends were looking for the answer to the secret of what the king had dreamed, and what the dream meant, but they didn’t look at the stars or at the liver of a sheep. Instead they turned to God in prayer for wisdom. They knew that only the Lord can reveal secret and hidden things and give people solutions to the mystery of the future. God heard their prayers and gave Daniel a vision of the king’s dream and what it meant. God’s answer would save them from being killed by an angry king, and Daniel prayed a beautiful prayer to thank him for his wisdom and his help.
We can trust our future to God, and know that he will always be with us and help us no matter what happens. Because of this we don’t need to know all the hidden things that the future holds. But the Lord has revealed one great mystery to us, a mystery that had been kept a secret for a long time. That mystery is his plan to save us through the promised Savior. For many, many years people waited for the promised Savior to come, and when it was the right time Jesus came for us and for all people. Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we could be God’s children, and it is no mystery how to find love and forgiveness from our Heavenly Father. God works through his people to reveal this secret to people from all over the world.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us the mystery of your love and forgiveness through Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.