“Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else” (5:17). Daniel and some of the other faithful Jews living in Babylon rose to prominence as people of wisdom, and the King used Daniel to interpret dreams. Yet, Daniel and others remained God’s people, not chasing pagan riches or glory. When threatened with a fiery furnace because of their refusal to worship idols, the young men believed in God’s deliverance but were ready to die (3:17-18).
Because God holds us in his hands (5:23), we can live for him without fear in the world. His rewards, his honor, and his “well done” are our goal.