Summary: Daniel, in his old age is called upon to interpret the writing on the wall for King Belshazzar. God controls your destiny.
• We are in the 5th part of series on the life of Daniel.
• The first four weeks we talked about Daniel being captured in Israel and carried into Babylon.
• How he not only endured but flourished in a culture that was always pressuring him.
• He had deep convictions and he loved people well.
• He had three friends with him and that certainly helped as they all endured together.
• There is the fiery furnace, dreams and visions, lots of wild things in Daniel.
• The old king named Nebuchadnezzar disappears from the story after chapter 4 when he dies.
King Nebuchadnezzar died 20 years earlier and now Nabonidus has taken rulership and Belshazzar, his son and the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar is on the throne in the city while the king is in Arabia.
• The Medes and Persians are about to conquer Babylon.
• This at one time seemed impossible. The city was fortified with two walls, huge walls, with enough food for 20 years.
• Some of the wall was 86’ wide, with the Euphrates river in it.
• Then a second wall, 250 towers loaded with spears and rocks.
• Medes and Persians came and wanted to besiege the city.
• 539 BC the Medes and Persians created an agreement to defeat Babylon.
• But Belshazzar felt safe within his city. He called 1000 of his leaders for a party.
• Daniel chapter 5. We find Belshazzar was just like Nebuchadnezzar the previous king, proud and blind, like us!
• Chapter 5 is about distraction, and deception. It’s about losing track of time and flunking tests.
• This is a very famous prophetic picture that we have all heard about.
I. THE WRITING ON THE WALL
• Read vss. 1-7
• How many times have you heard people say, “you can read the writing on the wall” usually means doom is coming!
• Well here’s where that term came from.
• Only Belshazzar couldn’t read the writing on the wall!
• Read 8-12 - Leaving a legacy
• Daniel was now an old man.
• And he had lived faithfully.
• The queen mother’s description of Daniel is telling
• The “queen” is Belshazzar’s mother, likely Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter.
• Daniel was in his 80’s here when he gets called out again to be used. God often does this; puts us on the shelf for a season.
• What can God do with your life if you will yield to Him?
• How do you want people to describe you when you are done?
• She said of Daniel that he brought “light and understanding and wisdom” into every situation and was able to explain mysteries, solve riddles, and unravel hard problems.
• Your reputation is the trail you leave behind you. So what does it look like?
• Are people hurt by you? Angry with you? Wary of you?
• Leave a legacy of life; love well and live steadfast.
I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
• Daniel didn’t lie to please people and so he was trusted even by those who disagreed with his lifestyle!
• Interpretations always proved correct and his prophecies were always fulfilled.”
II. THE FINGER OF GOD
“Jesus said that He cast out demons “with the finger of God” (Luke 11:20)
Referring to the power of the Spirit (Matthew 12:28). Now the finger of God was writing a warning to the Babylonian leaders
• Vss. 13-21 - Daniel is still serving others even in his old age. He still never yields his convictions and he definitely shoots straight.
• He gives the king a history lesson. Like all people who think they are great and then they are gone, what did they leave?
• What did they figure out? Well Nebuchadnezzar figured out there was a God and it wasn’t him.
• Something some of us never get.
• He learned that “the Most High God rules over the kingdoms of the world and appoints anyone He desires to rule over them.
• Daniel is really saying, “Don’t lose your mind when things look bad, God is still God and bigger than all the issues”
• He still rules over kingdoms!
Jesus said, John 16:33
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
III. LEARNING THE LESSONS OF LIFE
• Vss. 22 - “You knew all this!”
• Some of us are wise enough to watch other’s mistakes and learn from them.
• Some of us are too proud to believe we could make the same mistakes as others around us.