Don't sell your gifts!

Daniel was willing to serve God even if there wasn’t a reward.

November 28

Daniel answered the king, “Keep your gifts or give them to someone else, but I will tell you what the writing means.”

Daniel 5:17

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Don't sell your gifts!

King Belshazzer of the Babylonians decided to throw a big party and during that party he had the holy vessels, gold and silver cups, from the temple in Jerusalem brought out so that his nobles could drink from them. Right in the middle of the party a hand appears and writes something on the wall. The king gets pretty freaked out about this and so he calls in all of his wisest men to determine what it means. He promised to these men great rewards if they would just tell him what the words meant. None of them could. The queen mother tells the king that there is a man that probably can interpret the writing on the wall.

Daniel is brought before the king and the king tells him that if he will interpret the writing that he will reward him including a promotion to the third highest ruler in the land. In our verse for the day Daniel tells the king that he can keep his gifts. It is very possible that Daniel knew what was about to transpire that very night and that the rewards would be meaningless once Belshazzer was killed and Darius became king.

But there is another principle that we as Christians should take careful heed of. Daniel had a gift from God to interpret things like the hand writing on the wall of Belshazzer’s banquet hall. Daniel knew that it was not appropriate to ‘sell’ that gift. Belshazzer offered to pay Daniel to use the gift that God had given Daniel freely. God has also given each of us gifts that He expects us to use for His glory and to proclaim His name just as Daniel did.

Daniel responded and told the king that the rewards were not necessary and that he was going to do what the king asked anyway. We should be just as willing to share the gifts of God with others as Daniel was. Because of his obedience to the king and to God all of the king’s nobles and his guests saw the power of God at work. Daniel was willing to serve God even if there wasn’t a reward.

The story continues that Belshazzer did in fact reward Daniel with all that he said that he would. Belshazzer was killed that very night and his kingdom was conquered by the Medes and the Persians so it is difficult to know how long Daniel got to keep his reward. In Daniel’s heart he had already determined to serve God regardless if there was a reward or not. Could you say the same thing about your service to the LORD? If there was absolutely no reward of any kind, would you continue to serve? If no one ever said thank you, would you continue to do what you are doing now? If no one appreciates you or if they take advantage of you, will you still serve? Daniel did! Jesus did! You should! Jesus, help us to look upon You as our reward.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Read: Daniel 5:1-31; 2 Peter 2:1-22; Psalm 119:113-128; Proverbs 28:19-20