Being honest about an unpleasant message

How should we serve God?

“This is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” (Daniel 4:24-25)

King Nebuchadnezzar had another dream, and again nobody but Daniel was able to interpret it. Or maybe the other wise men had some idea but dared not tell the king…? Even Daniel “was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him” when he realized what the dream meant. But he nevertheless told the king what God was going to do: the king would be ‘chopped down’ like a tree; his mind would be changed and he would live like a beast of the field for seven years.

That was not a pleasant message to tell anybody, let alone to confront a king with it! But Daniel was totally honest and strongly advised king Nebuchadnezzar: “Break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity”. The king did not take this advice to heart however, and twelve months later his dream came true.

It is not easy to be honest about the disastrous future that awaits people who don’t humble themselves before God. Do you dare to tell people that they will have to spend eternity in hell if they don’t accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?

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