“I thank and praise You, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, You have made known to me what we asked of You, You have made known to us the dream of the king.” Daniel 2:23
“I need your advice.” These four small words are often said in the least-opportune moments, like when I’m about to leave for work, or when my mind is occupied by my to-do list.
But sharing my perspective isn’t just inconvenient; it’s terrifying. What if I get it wrong? By giving bad advice, I run the risk of damaging my relationship with my friend, or worse: ruining her life.
In Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar was getting some bad advice. He was having strange dreams, and wanted his astrologers to interpret them. When they couldn’t, he was enraged; so (naturally) he decided to kill all of his advisers. Including Daniel.
When Daniel got wind of this, he knew he needed to intervene. And he had faith that God would give him strength through it all. So, he went to the king and asked for time to interpret the dreams. Then, he asked his friends to plead to God for mercy — that the interpretation of the dreams would be revealed. That night, God gave Daniel the answer to King Nebuchadnezzar’s mysterious dreams.
I wonder if giving advice would be so terrifying if I actually stopped to ask God for wisdom before I spoke. Without God’s insight, I’m just like King Nebuchadnezzar’s astrologers: I don’t really know very much at all.
Maybe that’s why this is repeated over and over again in Scripture: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Dear God, Your power, creativity, and justice are incomprehensible to our human minds. And yet, You call us Your children. Thank You for wanting to give us Your wisdom, and help us to trust that You are in control. Help us to seek Your guidance and direction in our lives as well as in the lives of others. Amen.
Is someone asking your opinion about an important decision? Seek God’s wisdom before you speak.
Further Reading: Learn to listen to God's voice.