INTEGRITY in a World of Change!

EVIDENCE FOUND IN THE “DIGGING”:  [Daniel 5:1-30]

INTEGRITY with CONSISTENCY–

One of the hardest aspects in living your life is INTEGRITY being consistent.  But first, let me give a secular definition of the word, then we will getter a better meaning set in our minds:

INTEGRITY:  A concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes.  In ethics, INTEGRITY is regarded as the honest and truthfulness or accuracy on one’s actions.  INTEGRITY can be regarded as the OPPOSITE of hypocrisy”  Quoted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

With all the problems we face throughout our lives, no wonder many fail to act and react consistently in each situation.

In this blog, I will continue my detective work; digging in the Biblical evidence contained in The Book of Daniel Chapter 5. 

DANIEL is now approximately eighty years old.  He would be considered by all standards in any society as a senior citizen.  But Daniel is again going to show each one of us that he is a man of integrity by living out his life according to his beliefs at the ripe old age of 80 years, like he did in his teens!  Can I get an AMEN if you are a senior citizen?

Enter…THE PROBLEMS:

The kingdom had changed and he finds himself in a world that had passed him by.  At one time, Daniel was the head of all the magicians, sorcerers and it now seems he is almost forgotten.  You might even say that Daniel is like many of our senior citizens today; even in our neighborhood churches.

The World HAS CHANGED!

It has gotten faster in almost every way.  Seemingly more violent and people’s problems seem to be more extreme and the consequences more dire!

While connectivity IS AVAILABLE to everyone, at any time through the internet and cell phones–many feel unconnected and alone.

Daniel Found Himself In A Similar Position.

—  He was still in a foreign land.

—  God had not miraculously delivered him to Jerusalem.

—  He was out of the loop, a Jew in Babylon.

—  His position of authority had changed.  He had not been called on to handle the situation.  Nor had he been invited to the party.

Tom Shrader, a lead teaching Pastor in Arizona says,

“The number one problem facing seniors today is apathy”,  The unwillingness to get involved in a “new world”.

THE EARTHLY KINGDOM WAS IN TROUBLE!

Sounding familiar to today’s world of current circumstances?  Belshazzar assumed the authority of king and the enemies were literally knocking at the front door (the gates) of this massively fortified city.  The city was strong but the kingdom was weak.

Rather than seeking GOD’S FAVOR, repent of his ways, Belshazzar throws a party exemplifying PRIDE in giving the annual kingdom banquet for all nobility:

“BELSHAZZAR THE king [descendant of Nebuchadnezzar] made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and he drank his wine in the presence of the thousand”  (Daniel 5:1 AMP).

PRIDE LEADS TO SACRILEGE:

Not only was the king’s PRIDE on display before the other party goers at the height of out-of-control revelry but Belshazzar calls for the temple goblets.  Now these goblets were not the run-of-the-mill drinking cups.  The temple goblets that were called for were used in the honoring of the Lord God!

It was the ultimate in arrogance and pride.  Indirectly, the king was placing himself above God Almighty and thumbing his nose at God!

The Party’s Over!

God miraculously stops the party at its high point.  Looking at the Hebrew construction of the sentence indicates, at the very instant of drinking from the goblets and praising false gods, the finger appears to write on the wall:

[5]  “Immediately and suddenly there appeared the fingers of a man’s hand and wrote on the plaster of the wall opposite the candlestick [so exposed especially to the light] in the king’s palace, and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.    [6]   Then the color and the [drunken] hilarious brightness of the king’s face was changed, and his [terrifying] thoughts troubled and alarmed him; the joints and muscles of his hips and back gave way and his knees smote together”            (Daniel 5:5-6 AMP).

The Climax Is Building to a Boiling Point Now!

The party comes to a halt as the king was so filled with PRIDE and ARROGANCE and suddenly, he was now reduced to fear and trembling.

Imagine for one moment here, as drunk as they all were, the fingers, not the whole hand but the fingers of the living God begins to write on the wall by the lamp stand.  Belshazzar was literally changing colors while trembling before their eyes.  So much fear, he lost control of his lower body according to the original Hebrew.  In other words, the king probably just wet, peed his pants before all who had come to “party on”!

The King Needed A Solution…Now!

“The king cried aloud [mightily] to bring in the enchanters or soothsayers, the Chaldeans [diviners], and the astrologers.  The king said to the wise men of Babylon,  Whoever will read this writing and show me the interpretation of it will be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold put about his neck and will be the third ruler in the kingdom”  (verse 7 AMP).

I notice a footnote at the bottom of my Bible while studying this week concerning the words written on the wall in verse 25:  MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

“For many people it may be difficult to understand why all the wise men, the magicians, the soothsayers, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers were unable to translate a few simple words, especially when Daniel’s prescribed education in languages was the same as their own–and he had no difficulty translating.  The answer is that any wise man who was present there probably could recognize the four inscribed words, but only the uncompromising man of God [man with INTEGRITY; a man of CHARACTER]–who knew God through daily fellowship and communion with Him, who was dedicated to Him that God could speak to him and through him–only such a man could tell what the words really meant. Blessed are those who dare to be a Daniel.

THE PROCLAMATION:

Daniel was a man of integrity even though he was in his 80’s and semi-retired, and God was going to use him in a powerful way; to touch the life of the king AND his nobles.  His reputation was preceding him.

The Queen Remembers–(verses 11-12).

Daniel again was called in to interpret the writing where others had failed.  Much like king Nebuchadnezzar’s last prophecy, this one also contained BAD NEWS for the king [Daniel 4:31-33]..

Daniel begins with a relevant history lesson concerning the past king and Almighty God.  He reminds king Belshazzar that the lesson he was going to lay on the king was not about him but about God.(verses 18-23).

One of those great moments occurred that Daniel had earned by being faithful to God all those years.  He was still a great man of INTEGRITY.

Daniel had shown over the years his character qualities of perseverance and consistency which are essential to all of us today in a life of integrity.

“INTEGRITY” RE-DEFINED AS A REFERENCE FOR WHAT’S COMING!

INTEGRITY equals soundness and wholeness and is often applied to a structure or a physical object such a girders in a bridge; an engine block; or a piece of pottery.  As we will soon see, INTEGRITY can be applied to people also with positive and negative results.

What happens if a bridge or a piece of pottery looses its integrity?  It collapses!  Can you visualize this same flaw happening to people in the world of change?  People collapse, societies collapse, churches close and all because of a flaw in the structure of INTEGRITY.

How Daniel Spent His Life:

Daniel spent his life telling people, not what they wanted to hear but what they didn’t want to hear.  Daniel wasn’t an “ear-tickler”!  Nor is the WORD Detective (Mel Thompson)!!

“Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me (the king) that they might read this writing and make known to me the interpretation of it, but they could not show the interpretation of the matter.  [16] But I have heard of you, that you can make interpretations and solve knotty problems.  Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of god put around your neck and shall be a third ruler in the kingdom”  (Daniel 5:15-16 AMP).

Now that my friends, even by today’s standards was a heck of a reward.  Purple cloth was a rarity and I’m sure gold had a higher value then…than perhaps today’s current value.

So the king is telling Daniel…”So here’s the deal Dan. Translate the message and your promotion and worth is on the way.”  And the Daniel response?

[17]  “Then Daniel answered before the king,  Let your gifts be for yourself and give your rewards to another.  However, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation.”

THE BAD NEWS!  “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPARSIN”

Daniel proceeds to give the king the BAD NEWS; Daniel’s prophecy is about to hit the fan!  (verses 26-28).

In short, the king was to die and his kingdom divided.  The man of INTEGRITY tells it like it is by faithfully delivering the news.  That kind of news isn’t what anyone wants to hear from anybody.

We live in a society that says, “don’t make waves”; “be politically correct.”   The refrains of modern societies come at a high price.  The PRICE TAG IS….the TRUTH!  [Read 2 Timothy 4:2-4].

Daniel made waves and didn’t care to be politically correct.  He gave the TRUTH that might have cost him his life.  He was again, a person of integrity.  Have I driven the point home by now in your reading today?

THE PRICE:.

“Then Belshazzar commanded, and Daniel was clothed with purple and a chain of gold put about his neck, and a proclamation was made concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom”  (Daniel 5:29).

Contrary to the offer made by the king in verse 17, here, in verse 29, the king gives Daniel his earthly reward as the result of the message rather than a bribe to give the message  It was Daniel’s INTEGRITY on display.

Daniel again was promoted not because of his relationship with the earthly king but because of his long-time relationship with his Heavenly King; promoted because of his faithfulness to God.

And Belshazzar’s Reward?

The king had been living his life arrogantly, ignoring the Most High God even though his father (Nebuchadnezzar) had proclaimed His greatness openly.  Belshazzar chose to rebel and sin instead of repent and obey.  THE RESULT WAS DEATH!

“During that night Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was slain,  And Darius the Mede took the kingdom; he was about sixty-two years old”  (verses 30-31).

THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS THE  SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCE:

Romans 3:22-23 reveals,  “the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah).  [And is meant] for all who believe.  For there is no distinction,    Since ALL have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.”

Romans 6:23 says,  “For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Choices to make as the world is speeding up and not slowing down.  A CHOICE of FAITH, GODLY RELATIONSHIP, ETERNAL LIFE, or a life of SIN, DEATH FOR AN ETERNITY? 

“I NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT INTEGRITY?”

What Does the Bible Have to Say About Our Integrity As “Born-again” Believers?

(10) Reasons to ponder, about your own INTEGRITY:

1.  INTEGRITY means treating people fairly and honestly:

Leviticus 19:35-36; Deuteronomy 25:15; Proverbs 16:11-13

2.  INTEGRITY is giving your word and keeping it!

Exodus 8:28-32

3.  INTEGRITY will protect you.  Psalm 25, David prays that integrity and uprightness will protect him.  How can it?

“Let INTEGRITY and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for and expect you.” ~ Psalm 25:21.

Proverbs 2:7-8; 10:9; 11:3; 13:6

4.  INTEGRITY is more valuable than riches.

Proverbs 28:6; Daniel 5:17

5.  The Lord will test and judge your INTEGRITY.

1 Chronicles 29:17; Psalm 7:8

6.  It may be difficult to maintain your INTEGRITY in a changing world.

Job 2:3, 9; Proverbs 29:10

7.  The Lord hates lies and lack of INTEGRITY!

Zechariah 8:16-17

8.  Your character can be corrupted by the bad company you keep.

1 Corinthians 15:33

9.  INTEGRITY will be rewarded.

1 Kings 9:4-5; Nehemiah 7:2; Psalm 41:11-12

10.  Your INTEGRITY should set an example.

Titus 2:7

11 thoughts on “INTEGRITY in a World of Change!

  1. Daniel! what a character and what a personality! Integrity was the base of all. Soon or later, the true integrity – the one we have in our heart – will show outside us! Above all, I agree, with “Your INTEGRITY should set an example”. Well written and well said.

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  2. Amazing treatise on integrity, Mel. I love the story of Daniel. You have a way with words – helping me to picture the finger writing on the wall and the king’s fear. And I appreciate your point about character can be corrupted by bad company too. Thanks, Mel. Blessings, Amy

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    1. It’s amazing to me at times when God uses a simple discussion on a subject (“INTEGRITY in a World of Change!”) and motivates the reader to perhaps even get more out of the content than the writer did! I’ve received over 3,600 views on Character/INTEGRITY since I first published. Thanks again for your nice words and encouragement. /we can ALL certainly benefit from kind words.

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  3. Wonderful and informative read!! And timely for me…just had to end a toxic relationship with one who exhibited no integrity in our lives but, on the contrary, actually attacked me for her lack of honesty. Love the correlation with Daniel!!!

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  4. Daniel certainly stood up with integrity no matter what the consequences. We see that from chapter 1, when he and his friends refuse to eat the king’s food, all the way to chapter 6 when he is cast into the den of lions. He did it on pain of death and in spite of offers of wealth and power. He never for one second gave up His loyalty to God. He is truly someone to emulate.

    Just so you know, Daniel 5 is not written in Hebrew 🙂

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    1. THANKS for commenting on Daniel. I also appreciated your point about Chapter 5 not being in Hebrew. HEBREW IS USED in Daniel 1:1 to Dan. 2:4a and chapters 8 thru 12. ARAMAIC is used from Dan. 2:4a to 7:28. It’s interesting that Daniel switched languages and perhaps another study into that topic might be interesting. Since I don’t speak Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek…I’m sure glad that my Bible is written in English; I have difficulties enough using that language as it is. 🙂

      Hope your schedule frees up some. Always enjoy reading your blogs.

      > Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2012 17:20:54 +0000 > To: theworddetective@gmail.com >

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