Daniel, the prophet, confronted both Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar for their sinfulness (Dan. 4:27; 5:22-23). The difference in their ultimate fates following that confrontation points to the choice that we all must make–following Nebuchadnezzar or Belshazzar.
The Example of Nebuchadnezzar
God abased Nebuchadnezzar “when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride” (5:20). When he humbled himself before God, he was exalted by God (4:36). Following his humiliation and exaltation, he praised and extolled and honored “the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment” (4:37a-b), and testified that “those that walk in pride He is able to abase” (4:37c).
The Example of Belshazzar
Although he knew all that had taken place with his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar did not humble his heart (5:22). Instead, he lifted up himself “against the Lord of heaven” (5:23). God pronounced sentence upon him (5:24-28), and he was slain in that very night (5:31).
The Choice That We All Must Make
God has provided us with these inspired records of His dealings with the pride of these two Babylonian kings. We, thus, have even more than what Belshazzar had when he was indicted, condemned, and slain for his sinfulness.
For our good, God has set before us these two examples of how humans choose to respond to His convicting them of their pride. The one humbled himself before God after he had been dealt with about his pride, but the other did not.
We all must choose whose example we will follow–Nebuchadnezzar or Belshazzar. Our ultimate fates depend on the choice that we make either to humble ourselves for our pride or to exalt ourselves in pride.
Let us choose to follow the example of Nebuchadnezzar because “GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, AND GIVETH GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Pet. 5:5c-6; cf. Ps. 75:4-10).