God Rewards Those
that are Kind to His People
Read Time: 9 Minutes
We saw in King Nebuchadnezzar that God rewarded him when he took care of Daniel Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as well as the other Judean captives. After Nebuchadnezzar's reign Belshazzar king of Babylon reigned three years. He was not mindful of the Children of Israel and suffered the consequences. Belshazzar's reign is set in contrast to that of Nebuchadnezzar's for a reason.
A little chronology is in order before I continue. The rest of the book of Daniel is not laid out in chronological order. Belshazzar became king in 429 B.C. (according to E. W. Bullinger) and during that year Daniel prophesied in chapter seven. In the third year of Belshazzar (426 B.C.) Daniel prophesied in chapter eight. Also in the third year Belshazzar made a great feast using the gold and silver vessels that Nebuchadnezzar took from the House of the Lord. This is recorded in chapter 5 of Daniel. Belshazzar suffers the consequences of his disregard for God and His people:
:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords,
and drank wine before the thousand.
whiles he tasted the wine,
commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels
which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple
which was in Jerusalem;
that the king,
and his princes,
and his concubines,
might drink therein.
:3 Then they brought the golden vessels
that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem;
and the king,
and his princes,
and his concubines,
drank in them.
:4 They drank wine,
and praised the gods of gold,
and of silver,
and of stone.
:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand,
and wrote over against the candlestick
upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace:
and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Here is another 'stop and think' moment. Old Belshazzar has a huge feast going on to a thousand of his prominent princes and their ladies. They are having a grand time praising false gods and drinking wine out the vessels of the House of Lord. Suddenly the fingers of a hand write upon the wall. The king saw the part of the hand, the Word doesn't say anyone else saw it. That would be disturbing, even frightful. So much so that:
:6 Then the king's countenance was changed, [he was no
longer in a party mood]
and his thoughts troubled him,
so that the joints of his loins were loosed,
and his knees smote one against another.
Belshazzar was so shook up that he trembled all over.
:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers,
and the soothsayers.
And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon,
Whosoever shall read this writing,
and shew me the interpretation thereof,
shall be clothed with scarlet,
and have a chain of gold about his neck,
and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Belshazzar is very serious about understanding this writing. It sure has his attention. When the astrologers, Chaldeans and soothsayers show up they cannot read it. God wrote this and no unbeliever is going to understand it. This troubles Belshazzar even more. The queen then reminds him of Daniel, the Judean that interpreted the dreams for Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel is called before Belshazzar:
:13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king.
And the king spake and said unto Daniel,
Art thou that Daniel,
which art of the children of the captivity of Judah,
whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
:14 I have even heard of thee,
that the spirit of the gods is in thee,
and that light
and excellent wisdom is found in thee.
:15 And now the wise men, the astrologers,
have been brought in before me,
that they should read this writing,
and make known unto me the interpretation thereof:
but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing:
:16 And I have heard of thee,
that thou canst make interpretations,
and dissolve doubts:
now if thou canst read the writing,
and make known to me the interpretation thereof,
thou shalt be clothed with scarlet,
and have a chain of gold about thy neck,
and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
:17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king,
Let thy gifts be to thyself,
and give thy rewards to another;
yet I will read the writing unto the king,
and make known to him the interpretation.
:18 O thou king,
the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom,
and honour: [who gave it to Nebuchadnezzar? The most high God]
:19 And for the majesty that he gave him,
trembled and feared before him:
whom he would he slew;
and whom he would he kept alive;
and whom he would he set up;
and whom he would he put down.
:20 But when his heart was lifted up,
and his mind hardened in pride,
he was deposed from his kingly throne,
and they took his glory from him:
:21 And he was driven from the sons of men;
and his heart was made like the beasts,
and his dwelling was with the wild asses:
they fed him with grass like oxen,
and his body was wet with the dew of heaven;
till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men,
and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar,
hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this ;
:23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven;
and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee,
and thy lords,
and thy concubines,
have drunk wine in them;
and thou hast praised the gods of silver,
which see not,
and the God in whose hand thy breath is,
and whose are all thy ways,
hast thou not glorified:
:24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him;
and this writing was written.
:25 And this is the writing that was written,
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
:26 This is the interpretation of the thing:
MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom,
and finished it.
:27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances,
and art found wanting.
:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided,
and given to the Medes and Persians.
:29 Then commanded Belshazzar,
and they clothed Daniel with scarlet,
and put a chain of gold about his neck,
and made a proclamation concerning him,
that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
:31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom,
being about threescore and two years old.
Belshazzar knew of Nebuchadnezzar's reign. He knew that God took care of Nebuchadnezzar because he reverenced God and was favorable to His people. Belshazzar knew of Nebuchadnezzar's pride and dethronement until he humbled himself before God and was restored but he chose to ignore it. He failed to give glory to the God who holds his life in His hands. The consequence of his behavior was quick.
Once again God brings to our remembrance Nebuchadnezzar's reign. Then He sets in stark contrast the reign of Belshazzar. Oftentimes we understand to a greater extent one point when an opposite point is presented. That is what God has done here. We will also see that Darius the Median understands this principle next week.
This principle is also evident in our workplaces. It is not just confined to rulers of nations. Those who take care of God's people, even if they are not believers, can be favored. Our stand for God and His Word has a great impact on our nations, cities, towns, communities and workplaces. We must recognize this and pray for all around us. Since we know this principle to be true we can claim it and see it come to pass.