then daniel, whose name was belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. [daniel 4:19a]


daniel, whose name was belteshazzar

daniel knew that this dream did not have a pleasant interpretation. he did not have any difficulty in interpreting the dream, but knew that what he had just heard was not going to be pleasant to share.

yet daniel knew who he was and what it was that he needed to do. he had two names, one that he was born with, and one was given to him in babylon. his babylonian name, belteshazzar, meant “baal protect the king”, while his hebrew name daniel meant “God is my judge”.  after hearing this dream, all would see that baal was a false god, not worthy of protecting anyone, but the God of daniel was indeed a true and fair judge, whose judgement is as certain as his grace.


his thoughts alarmed him

daniel did not want to share this news with the king. it was a troubling dream and was not going to be pleasant to interpret.

it is never simple for any of us to tell others the truth of what we know to be God’s judgement. yet the ‘alarming’ nature of it does not change that it is true. daniel knew that he must interpret the dream faithfully, no matter how troubling.

in the same way, it is our responsibility to share the news of God’s judgement of sin with those around us. sin is real, and sin holds nothing for us but destruction and death. this is not easy to share with others. it can be painful to have spiritual conversations, and it is hard to tell people that whatever it is they are doing is wrong, and is separating them from God.


yet the other half of the news we get to tell is so very good! sin is real, but Christ has taken that sin upon himself. we do not need to endure God’s judgement, only accept his grace. like daniel, we must be faithful to share the truth that God has given, knowing that it is ultimately good, and so many souls have been saved from judgement and brought to grace, peace, and hope because of it.


~ jason soroski