269. Scared Speechless

Daniel 4:19 KJV Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

The Lord had given Nebuchadnezzar a dream that greatly disturbed him. He knew it was of portent but didn’t understand the dream, so he called for Daniel who he had promoted to be a chief overseer over all of Babylon after he had successfully interpreted a previous dream for Nebuchadnezzar. After telling Daniel the dream, Daniel just stood there speechless for a period of time. Some translations say he just stood there for an hour others for a moment, because the word shâ‛âh used there could be translated either way. Regardless of the specific amount of time that Daniel stood there silent, the point is he was so troubled and fearful of the understanding of the dream and what it meant for Nebuchadnezzar that he really just didn’t know what to say.

Have you ever had one of those moments? I have. It’s that uncomfortable moment where you know what needs to be said, but you have no idea how to say it. As uncomfortable and ‘scary’ as it may be to deliver disappointing news, a not so great report, or some hard TRUTH to someone it still has to be done. It was Daniel’s heart for Nebuchadnezzar that both made it difficult to share the interpretation and was also the reason that he did. Daniel didn’t just blast Nebuchadnezzar out of the water and say, “you’re such an arrogant and prideful man that you are about to be totally humiliated and stripped of all respect for a season.” No his heart was for Nebuchadnezzar. He started with saying, “I really hope this doesn’t happen to you, sir.” Then he ended with some great advice, “Make a clean break with your sins and start living for others. Quit your wicked life and look after the needs of the down-and-out. Then (perhaps) you will continue to have a good life. (MSG emphasis mine)”

I want you to see that both the reason Daniel found it difficult to talk and the reason he did were because of his genuine concern for Nebuchadnezzar. Sometimes people are afraid to talk to others, because they fear how others will respond (especially when it is a corrective conversation). But I don’t see that as Daniel’s reason. His was because the consequences he saw coming were so disastrous that he just didn’t have the words to say because he didn’t want to see it happen or even have to paint the picture for the king of what was to come. His heart was for Nebuchadnezzar. But that was also why he told Nebuchadnezzar. He mustered up the courage, and though he was uncomfortable, told Nebuchadnezzar his future fate, because he wanted to potentially help Nebuchadnezzar avoid that fate.

Every day we are surrounded with people that will live somewhere forever. There is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to flee. Your personal comfort has nothing to do with it. Let God’s heart and compassion for people be stirred up in you, then lovingly tell them the Truth of God’s love, how to be with Him, and how to avoid the consequences. Don’t be scared speechless. Tell someone. Fear Not: Everybody oughta know.

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