When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him. Daniel 2:14-16 (NIV).
These three verses transition us from the part of the story where Nebuchadnezzar becomes angry to the part where God, through Daniel, takes action. Notice a few things about them.
Daniel was bold, and he spoke in faith using the gift God had given to him. Imagine your jailer coming to you and telling you that he was there to kill you. We don’t know how that conversation went; we only know of how it ended. Daniel spoke up to his would-be killer, and the would-be killer responded in reason. What’s more, when Arioch was done explaining, he let Daniel go in to see King Nebuchadnezzar. That’s astounding. In any era, in any time, it’s an amazing turn of events. The more you think about it, the Almighty surely was at work in the moment.
We can think that because we see that Arioch was open to a Daniel’s words. Arioch was the commander of the palace guard. Centuries later, Rome’s Praetorian Guard would become famous (and sometimes infamous) guarding Rome’s emperors. They were the Secret Service of their day, charged with guarding the king. Every strong leader has those around him (or her) who are trained to protect at all costs. They are disciplined, strong, insightful, and powerful. For the king’s own senior guard to talk with this Jewish slave, then for him to let the slave personally visit the king after, is another amazing turn of events. It was because Arioch was open to hearing that Daniel could do what the Babylonians couldn’t because Daniel believed God would allow it.
Most amazing of all, Nebuchadnezzar was probably skeptical, but he heard out Daniel anyway. Imagine the scene: your trusted guard is admitting a condemned man into your throne room. The man you trusted to carry out your decree is letting this slave into your presence…and Nebuchadnezzar allows it! He must have been a canny man, one who recognized something extraordinary when he saw it. It was surely extraordinary for this cheeky slave to come in and address the king after he had been condemned, and then to say he could interpret this worrisome dream: something the court magicians had failed to do.
All those are noteworthy. What’s more noteworthy than just these words is what God did with them next. They’re more than just an amazing turn of events: they’re miraculous.
For further reading: Daniel 2:17
Lord, I give you praise for amazing miracles that inspire us to do great things in Your name. Thank You for these lessons from antiquity.
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