Summary: A sermon about a despotic king and a city in ancient Iraq. About a Ruler who made a bad decision. History is being made once again. There is Past History, Present History, and Future History. God is still in control of History
The Handwriting is on the Wall Daniel 5
* General Intro.
This has been a history making week. The US is at war in Iraq. Much of the world is against us and against the war. This is a different kind of war than has been fought before. We are seeing it happen as it takes place. Press coverage is almost instantaneous.
This war is also about history. – ANCIENT HISTORY.
The Middle East – The Fertile Crescent – The Tigress and Euphrates Valley. One of the “Cradles of Civilization”
The Euphrates River – first mentioned in Gen. 2
A Ruler who is all powerful over his nation – A Despotic Ruler on the verge of being overthrown and killed.
Fifty miles south of Baghdad, on the banks of the Euphrates river, lies the ruins of one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. One of the oldest and greatest cities of history.
BABYLON The capitol of the Babylonian Empire. (first mentioned in Gen. 10 – built by Nimrod)
Babylon in its day was the New York city of the World. It was renown for its commerce and for its greatness. The “Hanging Gardens of Babylon” was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. It was an impregnable city with Walls over 300 feet high. It was 80 feet wide at the top so that 4 chariots could travel abreast. It had over 100 towers for defense above its walls. It was over 60 miles in circumference. It had enough food in storage to last for 20 years in case of a siege. The Euphrates river flowed thru it for water.
Our Text of today – Daniel Chapter 5 – records the fall of this great city and of its King – Belshazzar.
I want to say one thing this morning – GOD IS IN CONTROL OF HISTORY.
Past History – Present History – and Future History.
* A Brief Intro to Daniel 5
Nebuchadnezzar – The Great king is long dead.
Belshazzar - his grandson is on the Throne
Daniel – the young “Man of God” found in the first 4 chapters is now an old man of around 90 years old. He is
still faithfully serving God. The Christian Life is a Marathon – not a sprint.
Chapter 5 can be divided into 3 Natural sections.
I. Vs. 1-9 A Night of Excess – Of Partying – Of Drunkenness – Of Hedonism
II. Vs. 10-29 A Night of Revelation – of Enlightenment
III. Vs. 30,31 A Night of Judgment
I. Vs. 1-9 A Night of Excess Vs. 1-9
Vs. 1 “A great feast” – The king made a great feast to over a thousand of His lords. Archeology reveals that the palace had a banquet room that could hold over 10 thousand people’
Everybody that was anybody was there. Wine , Women, and Song.
Vs. 2-4 In his drunkenness Belshazzar ordered all the sacred vessels that were captured by his grandfather in the overthrow of Jerusalem to be brought to the feast.
These vessels were dedicated to the worship of Jehovah GOD.
WHY – So they could drink out of them and Mock the God of Israel by his Gods.
Note vs. 4 The defied the God of Israel and praised the Gods of Babylon.
BIG MISTAKE - Its been said of late "Don’t mess with Texas" Well How about this "DON’T MESS WITH GOD"
(The number 6 is prominent in the Book of Daniel Note the number 6 in the types of their Gods.)
Vs. 5,6 God just poured cold water on the King’s party. The king turned “White as a sheet” – He “messed his pants” – He was so afraid that his knees shook together.
Vs. 7-9 The Hand wrote but no one could tell what it wrote. He called for all the wise men of the land but there was none among them that could understand it.
1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Belshazzar knew one thing - The Party’s Over.
II. Vs. 10-29 A Night Of Revelation
Vs. 10-12 “Now the Queen” – Probably the kings mother “There is a Man” – God has some answers the world doesn’t have.
Vs. 13-17 Everybody who was anybody was at the Kings’s party - Except Daniel - God’s Man
Note vs. 17 – “Keep your money” Daniel said. – Today’s charlatan faith healers and televangelists could learn from Daniel.
God Now Begins To Instruct Belshazzar. He has His Attention.
God Takes The King to School
1. A HISTORY LESSON - Vs. 18-21 First Daniel gives Belshazzar a History lesson.
He get’s an “F” He Hadn’t learned from History.