Daniel Chapter 5 Message 6
The Perfect Word of God –
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
– proved again in the fulfilment of the prophecy given to King Nebuchadnezzar
Daniel 2:38-39 “…thou are this head of God. And after thee shall arise another kingdom…”
Nebuchadnezzar had done everything in his power to insure that his kingdom would not end, but he finally humbled himself before the Lord and proclaimed that God’s will surely would be done. Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom passed to Nabonidus, who married Nitocris, Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter. Their son, Belshazzar became regent in charge of Babylon while his father, Nabonidus, was away.
I. He had no respect for authority. His father, King Nabonidus, was out of the city and
Belshazzar was sitting in the place of the king. He would led the festival without any respect for God or man!
His co-regency explains why Belshazzar promised that the man who successfully interpreted the writing would be rewarded with being “… clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”
His careless attitude is seen in that –
II. He had no regard for the danger facing the empire.
As we look at what was taking place on this night, God’s Word was being fulfilled – the kingdom described in Daniel 2:32 “…his breast and arms are of silver…”, the Medes and Persian, had surrounded Babylon. They would capture the city on the same night that Belshazzar rebelled in pride and arrogance against God. He had no idea that this would be his last day on earth.
Jeremiah 50:9-11 For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD. Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;
Jeremiah 50:24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD.
The city of Babylon was divided into the new and the old by the Euphrates River. The river actually flowed under the walls of the city. Cyrus, the king of Persia determined that the river should be diverted and his army could simply march into the city under the wall instead of trying to break through it or climb over it. Belshazzar completely ignored the plan of Cyrus and thought himself perfectly safe inside the mighty walls of ‘Great Babylon’.
III. He rejoiced in his power.
A. He used his power to persuade the people to ignore the danger and celebrate the power of their empire. (Blind following the blind)
Psalm 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
They celebrated each other, using their positions and power to praise one another. Then when they had tired of praising one another –
B. He used his power to mock the God of the universe.
Daniel 5:2-4 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
Belshazzar was going to find the warning of God to be true –
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
IV. He was rebuked by God for his rebellion.
Daniel 5:5-6 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
V. He was reminded of his open rejection of God.
A. He rejected the lesson learned by Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel 5:18-23 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour…. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
B. He reviled the God of the Universe.
But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:
VI. He was removed from power.
A. He was examined.
Daniel 5:24-28 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
B. He was executed.
Daniel 5:30-31 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
Proverbs 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
Again we see that what God has said He has done! Look at Genesis chapter 1 –
God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
God made the firmament – it was so –
God said – it was so
God said – it was so
God said – it was so…..
What God has said is true and will happen! Do you believe Him today or are you like King Belshazzar – you have heard the truth but have rejected it?
Revelation 20:12-15 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Where is your name written – the book of works or the book of life?