Anthony Summers Wrote About “The Arrogance of Power”

Daniel 5:1-12

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In his biography of Richard Nixon, Anthony Summers said that Nixon’s arrogant quest for power led him to engage in many shady schemes. But as bad as many say Nixon was, he probably was not as arrogant as King Belshazzar was — described in Daniel 5. That ancient king gave an elaborate banquet for his nobles. Some think he did it to show contempt for the Medes and Persians. Even though they surrounded the city, he was confident they could never breach the city’s walls. He also mocked God by drinking wine from the sacred vessels his grand father had brought from Jerusalem. He and his nobles felt so secure in their military power that they had a party. But suddenly, the party ended when a human hand wrote these terrifying words on the wall: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin. Belshazzar’s face turned pale; his knees knocked together in fear; and his legs buckled under him. He shouted for his wise men to come, read, and interpret the writing. None of them could. The queen mother heard the commotion and rushed in. She told the king, “I know a man who can read and interpret that writing. He has divine knowledge and wisdom. Call Daniel. He can do it.” Arrogance can make people feel secure until enough trouble comes. That is why it pays to have faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ. All other ground for security is sinking sand.

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