Words Fitly Spoken

Because of this the king was angry and very furious, and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them. 14 Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. 16 And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king. – Daniel 2:12-16

“Please move off the scale.”
I’m just weighing in.
“That’s not the issue. I asked you to move off the scale.”
Why should I do that?
It doesn’t matter why, except that it’s for clients only.
I’m a client here.
No you’re not. It clearly says FOR CLIENT USE ONLY. Now get off the scale.
I’m a client here. You can’t make me get off the scale.
You don’t seem to understand. This scale is for clients only. You are not a client. Now get off the scale. That is a $3,000 scale, and I’m telling you to get off.
That’s not a $3,000 scale. No way.
He moves closer and says, “This is not your scale. Now get off.”
Well, I’m telling them about this ….

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Budding Plant | Istanbul, Turkey | November 2014

That’s how the encounter with a scale interloper was told. In my mind it would have been more helpful to have explained that “CLIENTS” referred to the clients of the trainer and not of the business with whom the building was shared. I think a quicker explanation and a kinder tone would have gone farther than a continual: Get off. I won’t get off. Mutually-assured-disrespect barrage of words.

Compare that with the interaction between the king and his enchanters, and the exchange between Daniel and those who sought to take them into custody and kill them. The king’s magicians argued about the unreasonableness of the king’s request. Daniel asked for a time so that he might interpret the dream to the king.

How he got access to the king so quickly, and how he was able to gain the king’s agreement to this gambit is not clear. It might have been that by now the king was looking for an excuse not to do what he had threatened to do. It could also be that Daniel’s approach was so different that the king was willing to accede to his request. It might have been the combination of the two.

Certainly Daniel’s approach was different from the king’s wisemen. There is yet another element of Daniel’s manner before the king. That is the manner of Daniel’s faith. He certainly must have believed that God would provide the necessary knowledge to give answer to the king. Faith such as that provides a powerful combination of humility and conviction.

This combination is all to rare in todays world. Perhaps that is because there is so much up for grabs. Oprah urges us to “speak your truth,” as the most powerful thing in the world. Tell that to the woman who is deceived by the “truth” foisted on her by an overly-aggressive boss. Tell that to the young man who was led down the garden path by the seductress. No, it’s not just sincerity, or even humility. It’s a guileless combination of humility and confidence born of a conviction from God himself.

There may be moments when we can speak in such a manner. Most often for me those moments have come when I speak of the truth of God’s mercy, grace, and love. What better thing to offer: Grace grounded in the truth of God’s word, and a humble reliance on God to make good on his promise. Those are always words fitly spoken.

1 comment
  1. Bullet points:
    Hmmmm … King N is both “angry” and “very furious” … to me this seems repetitive but both are in scripture for a reason … I don’t believe God wastes his words. Do you suppose one denotes just the emotion and one might add on thoughts of actual retaliation?

    About Daniel’s “manner” in faith … I can’t help but think that his manner of asking God for answers was in Daniel’s upbringing; a well-taught lifestyle of relying on God rather than man 🙂

    To have been spoken to and offered God’s mercy, grace and love this side of heaven is a powerful, eye-opening, trust-creating thing. When God Himself uses these powerful moments to land his perfect version of mercy, grace and love on a deeply needy heart; broken by circumstance or whatever it is life-changing, heart-filling, faith-shaping, knee-bending thing bearing with it the sweetest ever by-products like humility, previously unknown or misunderstood peace and love n but best is a new and renewed confidence in our Jesus who paid for it all. (This is just me talking here about an experience)

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