The fury of a king is like messengers of death, But a wise man will appease it. Proverbs 16:14
The knock on the door resembled more like someone trying to break it down. As he drew near to open, Daniel knew that this was no friendly visit by the sounds coming from the other side of the door. He could hear the sounds of a chariot - and the all too familiar sound of armor and swords striking each other. This was a military visit - and it did not sound as if it would be positive. As he reached for the handle of the door Daniel said to himself, "Calm Daniel, respond with calm and confidence in your Lord." As the handle moved to open the door a prayer also went up to heaven, "God, please help me respond wisely."
As the door opened Daniel was astounded by what he met. It was a military escort - and it had come for him. Daniel knew things were bad when he saw Arioch, the commander of the king's bodyguard leading the way. "The king had commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be executed," was the announcement that Arioch made at Daniel's doorway. "I am sorry Daniel, but I must put you in chains and escort you to the executioner immediately."
"Why is this decree so urgent, Arioch?" Daniel replied. "Have we done something wrong - for when I last knew - all was well with the king and the wise men." Arioch then told Daniel of the dream - and the command from the king that the one who interprets the dream must also be able to first tell the king what the dream was. When the wise men present balked at this - and tried to bide their time - the king became furious and commanded that this be done to all the wise men.
Daniel sent a quick prayer to heaven again, "HELP LORD!" Then a passage from the writings of Solomon came to mind, the fury of the king is messengers of death, but a wise man will appease it. "Give me wisdom Lord to appease this request."
"Arioch," Daniel spoke, "would you first take me to the king that I might request a time when I may come and declare the dream and the interpretation to him?" From the look on Arioch's face Daniel knew that he was wary of this request.
"Daniel, my friend," the captain said, "He is furious right now - and not in any mood for delays or schemes. He is very disturbed about this dream and wants an interpretation."
Daniel was amazed at his own boldness and faith as he answered, "Then that is what I shall give to him."
As Arioch took him to the king Daniel continued to pray for favor and for God's power to appease a very angry king. He also knew that when he returned to his home, he would have to call Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azariah to prayer as well that God would grant him the ability to know the king's dream and its interpretation. "This will be a true test of our faith - and of our trust in Jehovah to protect and keep us here in Babylon," Daniel would say. "Yet He has been faithful so far to offer us His gracious protection."
The king or whatever the supreme leadership position is called in any state - holds with it a tremendous amount of power and authority. When that person is furious - it is not a good thing for the ones at whom his anger and rage is directed. To approach him with respect, honor, and wisdom is absolutely necessary. Depending on the laws of the region - that anger could mean death. That is why examples like that of Daniel - where a gracious, submissive, appeal to authority and God's provision is definitely in order. We can thank God for this godly example, for it gives us hope in what otherwise might be a hopeless situation. The wise will learn from it - and repeat it as they go into every situation trusting God and relying on the wisdom of His Word to not only guide them - but also go before them to appease anger and wrath - and make a way for grace and peace to prevail.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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