The Power of a Good Reputation
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 132:1-3 | Daniel 5:1-31 | 2 Peter 2:1-22 | Proverbs 28:19-20
Today’s Scripture Focus: Daniel 5
There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. He did this because Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.” (Daniel 5:11-12 NIV)
Confronted by a mystery that could not be solved by the wisest advisors of the kingdom, King Belshazzar seeks for another source. The Queen tells him about Daniel who had proved his integrity and wisdom under King Nebuchadnezzar. In glowing terms, the reputation of this man of integrity is presented to the King.
David is brought in to read the mysterious words written on the wall: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsen. Daniel must have known that the words of judgment he needed to give would not be easily received. Still with characteristic integrity and boldness, even rejecting the promised gifts of the King, he reads and interprets the words confronting King Belshazzar for his pride and sin.
He reminds Belshazzer how Nebuchadnezzar was brought down from his place of power because of his pride. But he had not learned the lesson of his father’s downfall. His ultimate act of arrogance would be to set himself up against God Almighty himself. He desecrates the sacred vessels from the temple by toasting false gods rather praising the Almighty God. This act of defiance would be his downfall.
He is told the meaning of the words: Your days are numbered and soon coming to an end. You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Your kingdom will be divided among the Medes and the Persians.
Pride, arrogance and abuse of power find their day of reckoning. God sees and he will make it right. Integrity, obedience and courage likewise come to light before God and men and find their reward.