Week of November 15, 2015
Bible Verses: Daniel 5:17-28
The Point: Call sin what it is and point to what God says about it.
 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation.  O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty.  And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled.  But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him.  He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will.  And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this,  but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.  “Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed.  And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN.  This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end;  TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;  PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” [ESV]
So interesting how the Son follows in the foot steps of the father in this case. It wasn’t as if Belshazzar was ignorant to his father’s transgressions and how God dealt with him. Daniel even says in verse 22 “And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this”. Belshazzar had first hand account of his father’s actions but in spite of this failed to humble his heart. In Daniel says to Belshazzar “but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven” 23. Not a very wise place to be in.
The question then before us is what did Belshazzar do. Well, aside from defiling the Temple vessels an act of apostasy against God; Daniel also says that he has “praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored” 23. Belshazzar fixed his gaze upon earthly things which became his gods and rejected the God that gives Him life.
As a result, like his father, Belshazzar’s days were numbered.
What does Daniel 5 teach us about Belshazzar?
What lessons can we learn from God’s treatment of Belshazzar?
What do we learn about God in this passage?
How has God shown His mercy on you?