forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar,
- Daniel 5:11-12
As we see, Daniel’s CV included the dissolving of doubts.
Some would be doubts of faith, although, being in a godless country he would need to dissolve a few of those on the quiet.
Dissolving is a great word, and I wonder how relevant the translators realised it would be today. Many of the products, foods, vitamins and medications we use are designed and manufactured to dissolve in liquid. When they are dissolved there is no substance left, just perhaps a changed colour of the base liquid. Milo, for instance, if stirred for long enough dissolves completely, leaving its chocolatey look and flavour. If used in warm water it dissolves faster. Berocca is similar, except orange. Some substances when dissolved taste nice, while others don’t but are still good for us.
When Daniel dissolved doubts they would be completely dissolved, leaving the listener much wiser.
There are two types of biblical doubts, those of an inquisitive nature and those which come from the bowels of preferred unbelief. I can see Daniel challenging all doubts with expert patience, wisdom and accuracy. The doubts of the inquisitive learner would be met with his wise paternal sharing of biblical knowledge; whereas, the wilful unbeliever would be met with similar patience but with a Godly challenge of disapproval.
Imagine listening to Daniel who had so much lived experience.
Firstly, he was knowledgable and righteous in his youth in Judah before the captivity, hating the wickedness that was rife around him: much like Christ had to do as He was growing up. Then being taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar and marched to Babylon with the multitude. Then watching his friends get thrown into a fiery furnace. Then demystifying Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams and gaining promotion to ruler of the wise seers, then seeing Nebuchadnezzar put into the field to eat grass, and return a humble believer. Being called upon to decipher King Belshazzar’s writing on the wall, then waiting for death as the medo-persians galloped in to take the kingdom. Then exercising his faith again under their reign in the Lion’s Den.
All these experiences — many more than if had remained in Israel — were the move of God, and shaped his faith accordingly.
When we try and dissolve people’s doubts we can use Daniel’s technique of scripture plus experiences.
If we record where God has intervened in our life or answered prayer, sometimes even before we’ve prayed it, got us out of trouble, brought our family back together, saved us from our own folly, and settled our nerves in times of worry or distress, we will also have writings full of lived experiences.
Perhaps they won't be as dramatic as Daniel’s, but they will be real and relatable for most people.
If delivered delicately and wisely accompanying scripture, they will possibly dissolve the raised doubts.
Stories like Daniel’s are great to hear, but down-to-earth testimonies and simple explanations are just as powerful to the average listener.
We are all called to dissolve doubts. That’s part of our job. We don’t need to have a PHD in theology, just a heart for the listener, some biblical knowledge and patience accompanied by wisdom to deliver our story sensibly.
Today’s prayer: Dear Lord, please help me prepare to adequately dissolve doubts. Help me reconstruct my testimony and sharpen the tools i have that they might honour you in the hearers ear. Please help me not to shy away from dissolving doubts, but to humbly do what I can with what I have been given.