It was a morally dark night in Babylon. Darker than your workplace, school, or community. King Belshazzar had willfully blasphemed God by desecrating the sacred goblets looted from the temple in Jerusalem. Now Babylon and Belshazzar were about to face God’s judgment.
Yet in the midst of this gross darkness shone the light of a single witness: the prophet Daniel. Because of his reputation as a man with “the Spirit of the Holy God” (Dan. 5:11), Daniel was summoned to interpret the mystifying message on the wall.
Daniel could have softened God’s warning to give it a meaning the king and his court would rather hear. He could have omitted the part about judgment and death. But instead of muddling the message to please the king, Daniel remained true to God. Standing alone before Belshazzar and his drunken court, he boldly spoke the whole truth.
It took enormous courage for Daniel to do that, but the threat from an earthly king was nothing compared to his allegiance to the King of heaven. Daniel feared Belshazzar so little because he feared God so much.
When we share Daniel’s heavenly perspective, we find that God gives us the courage to stand alone too.
In need of strength, we melt into the crowd
And find that strength grows more elusive still.
Our courage gone, we call upon the Lord,
And find our strength renewed to do His will. —Gustafson
The deeper our conviction, the greater our courage to sustain it.