King Nebuchadnezzar was known for his ruthlessness. However he also saw God work and move, and at times he took notice and leaned toward the things of God, the one true God. God caused Nebuchadnezzar to have a crazy dream that troubled and frightened him. He was unable to sleep and called for his magicians and spiritual advisers to interpret the dream for him. None of them could give him any answers. God had given Daniel the gift of interpreting dreams, so he was called before the king. As Nebuchadnezzar related the details of the dream, Daniel was at first frightened and overcome by its meaning. He interpreted for Nebuchadnezzar. The dream predicted the fall of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. He would go mad and wander the fields with the mind of an animal for 7 years, but he would return to power when he acknowledged that heaven rules. Daniel encouraged Nebuchadnezzar to repent and seek God at once with the hope that God would not cause the dream to be fulfilled. The king refused Daniel’s advice and continued to think he was god until the truth of the dream came to pass. After 7 years when the king’s sanity returned, he did acknowledge the one true God and his kingdom was restored just as the dream had predicted.
Dan 4:15-17, 19, 25-27, 34; Gal 6:1
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. (Gal 6:1)
Standing up for what is right can be difficult, especially when it involves calling out sin and trying to bring correction into someone’s life. This is a delicate matter. Some people don’t mind a mission to tell people what’s wrong with them, but unfortunately it’s often done in the wrong way at the wrong time and yields damaging results. Others would rather nod and acquiesce even when they know something is wrong than to confront someone or take the chance of conflict. God calls Christians to stand up for the right things in the right way at the right time. Understanding God’s will requires a close relationship with him. We must pray for wisdom when God leads us to speak correction into someone’s life. As Paul says in Galatians 6:1, the matter must be handled gently and humbly. The motive must be pure, which is that of helping the person. A righteous attitude or better-than-thou approach will cause more damage than good. Daniel spoke truth to Nebuchadnezzar, even though messengers bearing bad news were often abused or killed. Daniel went even farther by expressing concern for the king and encouraged him to change his ways. Daniel did all out of care and concern. He did not worry for his own safety. He said the right thing at the right time in the right way.
Have you ever confronted someone about sin in their life? Did God call you to do this? Is so, how did you know it was God’s will? How did the encounter turn out? Do you find it difficult to speak to someone about something they are doing that is sinful? Has your intervention ever caused a rift in your relationship? Do you fear damaging a relationship by bringing sin to light in someone’s life? Have you ever sat idly by, when you knew you should say something? What was the outcome? Has someone ever spoken to you about something in your life that they felt was going the wrong direction? How did you receive that correction? What was the outcome? Define how “gently and humbly” looks in a situation where you need to have a hard conversation with someone?
Seek God’s guidance in standing up for him at the right time in the right way. Be open to Christian brothers and sisters when they sincerely speak truth into your life. God often speaks to us through others.
Lord, help me to stand up when you call me. Help me to always seek your wisdom that I may not cause anyone damage by the way I speak truth into their life. Help me to humbly and gently serve you so that you are glorified and so that your truth is made known through care and concern. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.