The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, “O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you or your color change. 11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers, 12 because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”
Do you know someone whose advice you are inclined to reject – no matter whether they might be helpful or not? Perhaps he reminds you of an unreasonable college professor. She never seems to have a good word for you and your ideas. Suggestions come, but they are either unwelcome, unneeded, impractical, unreasonable, or simply not possible to take.
When the queen comes into the banqueting hall, she offers great advice. The question is, will the king listen? Will he dismiss her as a meddling interloper?
Sometimes our pride gets in the way. We would rather fail than be shown to need another’s advice. We would rather lick our wounds in private failure than be seen as one who does not have all the answers. We can be our own worst enemies that way.
The queen offers good advice to Belshazzar. She grounds her words in the past experience of Daniel’s help with other dreams and mysteries. He is one who should be called. He will reveal the meaning of the handwriting on the wall. Daniel is the one in whom there is “the spirit of the holy gods.” Will the king listen to her?
A person who is wise will listen to the advice of others. A wise man will seek counsel. A wise woman will embrace the insights of the wise.
Notice how the queen has it almost right: Daniel has the Holy Spirit of God, not just “the spirit of the living gods.” Her advice is right on as far as it goes. It remains to be seen whether Daniel’s advice will be heeded. The fact that he has been ignored for all these years does not bode well for Belshazzar’s future.
If we are ready to listen to others’ advice only when we are scared witless, we are in danger of reaching the limit of our days and our opportunity fully to take advantage of God’s favor in the paths of righteousness to which others may be seeking to direct us.