And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king. Daniel 2:16
“You are ready to make known to me the dream?”
The king queried his unwanted guest in a skeptical tone that only thinly veiled the frustration that featured prominently in his sharp eyes and grave demeanor. Seated on his throne, he was not unlike an eagle on a high perch, seemingly inactive yet unquestionably dangerous.
I hardly knew what to think of it all, for there was Belteshazzar before the king, doing all he had said he would do a mere half-hour before. But why he dared do it and what this would mean for me was beyond my comprehension. I was a convulsive mixture of sweat, nausea, and bodily ache, yet all my attention now focused on that furrowed brow that appeared immovably fixed below the crown of the king.
“Yes, my Lord. I understand that the matter is urgent, so I am present to assist you,” answered the youth. Where did this lad come from? And what kind of gall could push a foreign first-year pupil to promote himself before the king?
An unsettling silence loomed over the court as the king bit his lip and rose quietly from his throne, he turned away slightly from the audience that awaited his answer. I looked about the court for a way to address this emergency; something, someone, or some way to gain control of this situation, but what could be done for so hopeless a scenario? What sacrifice had I overlooked to warrant divine judgment? Anxious yet overtaken, my terrified mind stood in frozen, fearful impatience, seeing everything but unable to say or do anything about the intruder and his outlandish request.
“Well, unfortunately, I cannot give any more time to this matter today. You will need to wait until tomorrow morning. Present yourself at dawn.”
A visible stir rippled through the throng of onlookers and a few were noticeably shocked, but all hastened to quiet, awaiting the next development.
“Thank you, Sire. Your patience will be rewarded.”
And again the young man was out the door and on his way! The silence had shattered into a din of reactions, some angry and impatient, others astounded, not a few cynical. Motioning for silence, one advisor took the floor and addressed the king.
“My Lord, there are pressing matters of state to attend to. If you have determined to dispose of the diviners should we really delay on account of an unknown novice?”
To my surprise, the king’s bearing had changed. His eyes looked beyond the entrance of the throne room, as though intent on following the interloper, and the rest of his face had warmed into something close to amusement. “If he is a fool, he will be dead in the morning. He had the courage to meet the matter head-on. Should that not be credited to him?”
Illustrations by Elesha Casimir