Summary: Exposition of Belshazzer’s results of spiritual blindness
Text: Daniel 5:10-31, Title: Results of Spiritual Blindness 2, Date/Place: NRBC, 6/7/09, AM
A. Opening illustration: tell about Mark Driscoll’s message on idolatry
B. Background to passage: Reminder of what has happened up to this point in Daniel. Babylon was on a big downslide, and Belshazzar was partying away the night. And remind them that Belshazzar (whom we now have ample archeological evidence for) had to have seen it all. This was a case where he knew better. Belshazzar was blinded spiritually, and the results where as follows.
C. Main thought: in this text we will see the last of three results of spiritual blindness (first three online)
A. Willful Rebellion (v. 22-23a)
1. Spiritual blindness leads to this sort of sin because the offender can’t see the glory of God, can’t see the seriousness of sin, and doesn’t realize the precariousness of their situation. The bible differentiates between accidental, inadvertent, falling into type sin, and willful rebellion. And the main difference is how they are viewed by God, and the punishments for them. And the text here shows the biggest difference. Belshazzar knew better. He had seen the power and judgment of God, and still persisted in rebellion. Daniel says that in spite of his knowledge, he lifted himself up against God.
2. Num 15:30-31, Deut 1:43, Ps 19:13, Ezek 3:7, Luke 10:13-16, Heb 10:26
3. Illustration: The sailor responded, “I didn’t dare to! I wanted to go north, but as hard as I tried to make the needle aim in that direction, it just kept on pointing southeast.” Describe a person who is warned about an action, and yet is openly determined to do what they want regardless of what the bible says,
4. We should be deathly afraid of willful rebellion. They express our desire to be independent from God and His rule and reign. It is indicative of major spiritual problems at the least, and false faith at the worst. What it says is that “I don’t care what people say, what God says, what the bible says, what the church says, I want it my way.” It demonstrates that you clearly and intentionally want to throw off any restraint or authority. And the “Lordship of Christ” is essential to salvation. We must confess Him as “Lord” and believe. We must be willing to deny ourselves, hate our friends and family, lay down our very lives, agendas, and wills to follow Jesus. This is why MacArthur wrote a book called “Hard to Believe.” The gospel is simple, but difficult, and the way is straight and narrow. This is why that when we practice church discipline, and someone refuses to repent, Jesus said to treat them like a publican and a sinner. And we must stop living in the Christian fairy tale land that everyone who believes in God or has ever made a profession of faith is saved.
B. Robbing the Glory of God (v. 23b)
1. What a powerful statement at the end of 23. Daniel said, with this full knowledge, you have failed to do the most important thing—glorify Him. Belshazzar, much like his grandfather before him, longed to have all the power and glory and majesty. And every chance he got, he did things that would make him look good in the eyes of men. This kind of sin is absolute high treason.
2. Isa 42:8, 48:11, Ps 115:1, Acts 10:25, 12:23, 14:15, Philip 2:13, Ezek 14:20
3. Illustration: An atheist group unveiled an anti-religion placard/sign in the state Capitol, joining a Christian Nativity scene and "holiday tree" on display during December. The atheists’ sign was installed by Washington members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national group based in Madison, Wis. The placard reads: "At this season of the WINTER SOLSTICE may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." The foundation’s co-president, Dan Barker, said it was important for atheists to offer their viewpoint.
4. This could be said of many in our culture. We bow to gods of education, sports, entertainment, money, sex, work, etc, and we pay no heed to the God who holds our very breaths in His hand and owns all of our ways. We glorify all of them, but rarely do we glorify the One that really deserves it. And remember this hits at the very heart of why we were created in the first place—to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. If we fail to make much of Jesus, we have missed the point of life. And if Jesus is not enjoyable enough to you to make much of, you need to get to know Jesus. It is easy to make much of something or someone that is already much in your own mind. And in reality, He is much! Does your family glorify God? Does your work ethic, your speech, your marriage, your money, your lifestyle tell the whole world that Jesus is the greatest, highest, and the best of all beings? Don’t think for one moment that God will not remove anything that steals His glory in your life.