Summary: PRIDE ALWAYS LEADS TO A FALL (Proverbs 11:2)
THE CHRONICLES OF DANIEL #5: PRIDEFALL:
KNOCKING KNEES AND A FLOATING FINGER
DANIEL 5: 1-12 & 22-31
AUGUST 22, 2004
INTRODUCTION: [It’s Over Your Head, Citation: C.D. Monismith, Salem, Ore. Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."]
One quarter while teaching an adult Sunday school class, I decided, It’s time to be up-to-date and innovative. I need to try something new for our class.
We were studying one of the Old Testament books.
I found an overhead projector and tried to teach myself how to use it.
Then I wrote an outline on an overhead transparency to display for the class.
When Sunday morning came, I had the projector all set up.
At the right moment in the lesson, I flipped on the overhead.
The beautiful outline flashed on the wall for all to see.
To emphasize a significant spiritual truth in the passage, I grabbed one of the special markers, walked over and started writing in bold letters on the outline.
The class burst out laughing.
Why are they laughing? I thought to myself. This is the crucial point!
Then it hit me.
I was writing on the wall.
It seems I’d been a little unclear on the overhead concept.
The class wouldn’t let me forget it.
In fact, for many weeks they wouldn’t allow me to remove my brilliant insight from the wall. Contributed by: A. Todd Coget
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for tonight speaks of writing on the wall, but it is not the fun kind. All of us have seen the writing on the wall before in different areas. Maybe that date didn’t return your calls? Maybe that employer didn’t respond to your resume? Maybe the mechanic looked at you and just shook his head? Maybe it was the creditor calling you day after day? What ever it was or is, we have seen the writing on the wall that lead to fear and despair. For our text tonight, the writing on the wall came for a reason. With us, the writing on the wall may be caused by our actions or not, but as King Belshazzar takes over for his father, he experiences the truth, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
THESIS SENTENCE: PRIDE ALWAYS LEADS TO A FALL (Proverbs 11:2)
I. PRIDEFALL IS FALSE WORSHIP VV. 1-9
CAN YOU READ THE WRITING ON WALL/ FALSE WORSHIP/IDOLITRY
a. FALSE WORSHIP IS A PARTY
b. FALSE WORSHIP IS MISUSING GOD’S STUFF
c. FALSE WORSHIP IS IDOLITYRY
d. FALSE WORSHIP LEADS TO A GOD RESPONSE/ the writing on the wall! E. FALSE WORSHIP LEADS TO FEAR
illustration: Tony Campolo wrote a book called “The Kingdom of God is a Party.” In chapter one, he tells the story of a trip to Honolulu in the mid 80’s. Having crossed far too many time zones from Philadelphia to Hawaii, he found himself awake and needing breakfast at 3:30am local time. He ended up in a greasy, divey place ordering a donut and a coffee, and while consuming this wholesome breakfast in walks 8 or 9 prostitutes. The place is small, Campolo is surrounded, and like most of us decides the best thing to do is to get out of there. Then he overhears one of them say, “Tomorrow is my birthday; I’ll be 39.” Somebody else tears into her. “So?? Whadya want me to do about it?? Want me to throw you a party, bake you a cake, sing “happy birthday???” The first shot back, “Come on! Why do you have to be so mean? I’m just telling you, you don’t have to put me down. I don’t want anything. I’ve never had a birthday party my whole life, why should you give me one, why should I have one now. I’m just saying.”
If you know Tony Campolo, you probably have an idea what happens next. He hangs around till they leave, then asks the guy who runs the place if those people come in every night. They do, so Campolo asks if he could throw that one prostitute a big birthday party that next night. They get excited about the idea, make all the arrangements – Campolo decorates the diner, the chef bakes a cake, somebody gets the word out on the street. This is how Campolo describes the scene:
“By 3:15 every prostitute in Honolulu was in the place. It was wall-to-wall prostitutes… and me! At 3:30 on the dot, the door of the diner swung open and in came Agnes and her friend. I have everybody ready (after all, I was kind of the M.C. of the affair) and when they came in we all screamed, “Happy birthday!”
Never have I seen a person so flabbergasted … so stunned … so shaken. Her mouth fell open. Her legs seemed to buckle a bit. Her friend grabbed her arm to steady her. As she was led to one of the stools along the counter we all sang “Happy Birthday” to her. As we came to the end of our singing with “happy birthday dear Agnes, happy birthday to you,” her eyes moistened. Then, when the cake was carried out with all the candles on it, she lost it and just openly cried.”