And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation. – Daniel 5.16-17
Belshazzar was desperate to find out what the words on the wall meant. The words were MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN but nobody could figure out what it meant. When some in the room told him about Daniel he called for Daniel and offered him all the riches of the kingdom if he would translate the writing in the wall. He offered him a place in the government as well.
Daniel’s response was a mark of his character – ‘keep your money and your royal clothes and your offer of power. I’ll tell you what it means.’
I like the fact that David had the character to not take any of the stuff he was offered. I think it went back to a long time ago when we decided that he would ‘not defile himself with the king’s meat.’
There is nothing wrong with getting paid for ministry. Paul makes that very clear. But it is wrong when we are paid in any what that might compromise the truth. Daniel did not want to be swayed by the riches. He simply said ‘I will tell you what the words says.’ He didn’t do it out of a desire for ‘filthy lucre.’ He did what God wanted him to do without regard to how much it paid off.