Daniel’s tact and wisdom a great tool in soul winning

Ernest Onuoha

“When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened. Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant. That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven, ” (Daniel 2:14-16,19).

Nebuchadnezzar was a temperamental king. He dreamt and needed interpretation of his dreams. He had all sorts of people around him including sorcerers, magicians, and astrologers. To these categories of people, fortune telling was their stock in trade. They were not gifted in revelation. Indeed, secret things belong to the Lord, (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Rather than answer the angry king politely, the fortunetellers bluntly told him that the gift of interpretation belongs to the gods, (Daniel 2:11). This angered the king the more and he ordered for their immediate execution. We should know anger does no good.

Indeed, Daniel and his three friends were to be killed alongside with the fortunetellers. What was their sin? Theirs was only by association with the fortunetellers. Nevertheless, we can agree that Daniel was relatively young with his friends, but age meant nothing to an angry king. So, Daniel requested to see the king and in his presence requested for time in order to return to the king with an answer. That was a soothing balm most needed at this point. It is true from Daniel’s background as a Hebrew; they were prevented from divination, (Deuteronomy 18:9–14). However, Daniel urged his three friends to join him in prayers, as God has solutions to all situations, including interpretation of dreams. Yes, God did not fail that night. That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision.

If Daniel had been blunt and tried to exonerate himself from the job at hand, maybe the story could have ended differently. Interestingly, he was tactful and full of wisdom in his approach to the king’s demand for the interpretation of his dreams. What a good way of gaining ground in soul winning!

Today, many souls and opportunities have been squandered in soul winning situations. Sometimes, preachers are tactless, timid and harsh in their approach to sinners and their sinful behaviour. No one should be happy with sin, but Jesus loves a sinner and He says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”, (Luke 19:10). This same attitude should be found among preachers or soul winners. They should not be judgmental, as this may rubbish their message of salvation, no matter how wonderful it may be.

Two Bible passages are helpful here. In the Old Testament (2 Samuel 12:1-12), Nathan’s message to David was coded in a story-telling form. It turned out later that David was the guilty one and he repented. That led him to composing Psalm 51. Also, in the New Testament (John 4:1-42), we are presented with the encounter of Jesus with the Samaritan woman and the conversation that ensued later. This conversation later made the woman a great evangelist. She ran and said, “Come and see the man who told me everything I ever did”, (John 4:29).

Therefore, we need a change of strategy, as we engage in the work of soul-winning. We should not be careless, but tactful and full of wisdom as we hand down the gospel truth to others. Indeed, God will use us to bring people to His fold. Remember, “there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents,” (Luke 15:10). May the Holy Spirit enable us to know what to say and how to say them. Souls are waiting to be won. Cheers!

Rector,
Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
www.ibrucentre.org

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