Summary: God is both a God of patience, and a God of swift judgment. Here in this chapter we see the swiftness by which God executes His judgment on sin!
THE NIGHT THEY SAW THE WRITING ON THE WALL
INTRODUCTION: This chapter gives us a view of an occurrence that we are watching, and have absolutely no control over the ending. We are seeing a tragedy in the making. This very night one kingdom will cease to exist, and another will take its place. So it is with those who will disrespect the power and glory of God. God is both a God of patience, and a God of swift judgment. Here in this chapter we see the swiftness by which God executes His judgment on sin!
I A FATAL BANQUET – approx 20 years AFTER the death of Nebuchadnezzar – 5:1-4
A The rise of a new king
1 Belshazzar is actually the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar
2 Nebuchadnezzar had a daughter – Nitocris
3 Nitocris married Nadonidis
4 Their child was Belshazzar
a Elevated to the position of co-regent with his father
b Name means – “Bel has protected the king”
B The Throwing of a great banquet
1 Reasons for the banquet
a Contempt for the Persians who are besieging the city
b Allay the fears of the people
2 The contempt of Belshazzar
a Contempt for the power of man
1) City impenetrable
2) City is well-stocked
a) Food provisions for 20 years were in the city
b) River Euphrates flowed in and out of the city under the walls!
b Contempt for the power of God
1) Result of War – the temple objects were brought to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar
2) Result of Sacrilege – the temple objects were brought to the banquet
3 The condition of the banquet
a Sensual affair – mixed genders
b Lack of restraint
1) Public view of royalty
2) Use of Alcohol
a) Do things we would not normally do if we were sober
Belshazzar would gain his notoriety by sacrilege, not by accomplishments
§ Removed temple fixtures from the treasury
§ Used them to praise their gods
II A FATAL HAND – Moments after the Sacrilege – 5:5-6
A Written in plain view
1 Possibly under the lamp stand taken from the temple in Jerusalem
B Written were the kings legends were written
C Fear from the king
1 Had been so careless to ridicule God
2 Can not bear the presence of God
a White as a ghost
b Back went limp
III A FATAL PROPHECY – Spelling the end of the kingdom – 5:7-38
A The need to know
1 Purple robe – Like Mordecai
2 Chain of gold – very valuable
3 3rd highest ruler of the kingdom
a Below Belshazzar and Nadonidis
Value of the offer reveals the level of the fear
B Pagan counselors
1 Cannot interpret the writing
2 Their inability brings even GREAT fear!
C God’s prophet
1 The reputation of Daniel is still know
2 Queen is probably the grandmother of Belshazzar and aware of Daniel
Daniel 5:12 This man Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means."
a Queen refers to Nebuchadnezzar as “your father”
b Queen refers to Nebuchadnezzar as “king
1) Remind Belshazzar of the reverence he had for Neb.
2) Bring awareness of the respect Neb. Had for Daniel
4 Deprived of office at the death of Nebuchadnezzar
5 Forgotten by those in authority
a Daniel is some 90 years old
D Daniel’s Service
1 Offered the same reward as the others – number 3 in a kingdom about ready to crumble
a Daniels response to the reward – interesting principle:
1) Do not do what you do for God for reward
2) Do what you do for God because it is your duty to do it
Matthew 6:2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
Matthew 6:4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:16 "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.