Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Exposition of the first half of six results of spiritual blindness from Daniel 5

Text: Daniel 5:1-9, Title: The Results of Spiritual Blindness 1, Date/Place: NRBC, 5/24/09, PM

A. Opening illustration: talk about Gordon Dykes, and his ability to see more than we could see…

B. Background to passage: After the death of Neb, several kings succeeded him in ruling at Babylon, but none for very long. The dominance of Babylon was quickly coming to an end. Nabonadius was about the fifth in line, and the last of the Babylonian kings. He was so out of it, that he ruled much of his reign from another city, and left his son, Belshazzar in charge in Babylon. Until recently, there was no extra biblical evidence of a king named Belshazzar, until a certain archeological find confirmed this chronological understanding. And he is set in stark contrast to Neb in our account. Speaking of Neb, go back over the last few verses of chapter four and discuss his potential conversion. Explain that one cannot tell for sure without seeing his life.

C. Main thought: in our text, and next week, we will see six results of spiritual blindness.

A. Escalation of iniquity (v. 2-3)

1. In Neb’s life there was pride and self-worship. And even though it was eventually dealt with, the bulk of his life was spent exalting his own ego. Now in his grandson’s life, pride and self-worship has led to out and out blasphemy. In fact Daniel says that the king knew better in v. 22. He specifically sent for the holy vessels from Jerusalem, so he and all his sexually immoral partners can drink from them. This is a major bag-over-the-head, slap-in-the-face for the God of Israel. It screams that He is superior to that God. It begs for God’s judgment. Spiritual blindness tends to produce an escalation of sin. Sin doesn’t usually get better, but worse. This can happen in the life of a believer, and also within generations of families. Our sensitivity to sin and conviction lessens the more that we are exposed to it.

2. Ex 34:7, Num 14:18, Deut 7:9, Matt 5:29-30, 1 Tim 4:1-2, Rom 1:24, 26, 28,

3. Illustration: Tell the story about the man who sold the house all except for the peg on the front door frame, Miss a few weeks of church in a row, and see if it is not difficult to get up on that next Sunday morning, The Generational curse referred to in the preceding passage (passages) is not God cursing a person, but the negative behavior patterns passed down to succeeding generations…A person’s spirit carries uncounted numbers of scars that exist because of their family’s self-destructive habits. Yet they repeat those exact self-destructive patterns believing they’ll reap a different harvest.

4. We see this plainest in cases of self-destructive addictions. But the same principle applies to our individual lives, and the sin that we see as not so bad. Pet sins will turn into destruction. This is why Jesus is so violent against sin in His instructions to us. We are not to toy with, tolerate, dabble in, or be around sin. Treat it like deadly poison, for it will always take you further than you want to go, and cost you more than you want to pay. Fight diligently against all the little sins in your life. Keep your vigilance high, lest you be deceived, trapped, and taken down by a snare of Satan and self. And the more you are involved in it, the less you can feel its sinfulness. This is why it is such a desperate situation when a brother or sister in Christ begins to slide. Our culture tells us to ignore the Spirit convicting and speaking to us. We must rescue them, fight for them, warn them, and communicate the deadliness of their actions. We must know and be continually reminded of the seriousness of the poison of sin. And in the lives of our children our patterns of sin will typically be magnified in them, possibly for generations. Think of patterns like adultery, divorce, alcoholism, anger, poor spending habits, church attendance (or lack thereof), all of these things have been shown to increase in likelihood for children that have been raised in homes with these things present.

B. Fear of circumstances (v. 6)

1. When people who are spiritually blind have their eyes opened, or experience some judgment, or see clear evidence of The God whom they have been spitting in the face of, they get scared. And rightfully so, I might add. Truly spiritual things scare those that ignore them for the bulk of their lives. But beyond the fear of seeing a disembodied hand write something on the wall, it seems that fear was an easy emotion for him. The text says that his facial expression changed, his thoughts troubled, tormented, or plagued him, he became weak in the legs, and his knees knocked together.

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