Summary: As we look into this historic/prophetic book, God is not only speaking to an exiled Judah. He is speaking to us today. This is the fifth message in a series of, "What Is God Saying?"
SIX THINGS "GOD IS SAYING" IN DANIEL CHAPTER 5
1. “DON’T BE BLINDED BY THE PARTY.” (v 1-2)
(A) THE FALSE SECURITY OF THE GREAT KINGS PARTY
The king had invited 1,000 of his nobles. These were renowned people in his kingdom. The rich, the elite, everybody who was anybody was there. Babylon was a fortified city with 300 feet walls. The bragged of having enough food in storage to feed everyone in the kingdom for twenty years. The Euphrates river ran underneath the northern wall, down the middle of Babylon. If there was ever a place to feel secure, it was Babylon. What the people at this great party didn’t know was the God was about to show up. God had arranged the Medo-Persian armies to overthrow Babylon on this very night. The people were drinking it up! They were having the time of their lives. God was about to interrupt the party.
(B) THE PARTY GOES ON TODAY
If there has ever been a party society in America, it is today. Colleges are reporting that binge drinking is at an all time high. Today there are more high school students drinking than ever before. How many of us know someone who parties at least once a week? The media projects this wonderful lifestyle of partying. It’s not only ok to be a party hound, but unless you want to be thought of as a square, you better get your party on. NOT JUST DRINKING AND DRUGS, BUT SEX! It’s ok! Go ahead! Do it safe! You can even have sex with the same gender, but do it safe! Friends, this world has a messed up view of life. Be careful don’t become blinded to the truth.
(C) DON’T BE BLINDED AND BROUGHT DOWN TO RUIN
At a glance it appears that these are the people who are living the life. Don’t be fooled! The media isn’t showing you the violence that is on the party scene. The media isn’t showing all the broken homes and divorced that are caused by alcohol and drugs. The media isn’t showing the people who are dying because of overdose and addiction. IT MAY LOOK GOOD ON THE SURFACE, BUT JUST BENEATH IS PAIN, HEARTACHE AND DESPAIR. Teenagers, don’t have sex until your married. Your only attaching baggage to yourself later down the road. You’re only going to get your heart ripped out and bring trouble upon your head.
(D) GOD’S ABOUT TO SHOW UP
We will all stand before God someday. The party will be over. The music will stop. The hangovers will be gone. THEN WE WILL HAVE TO FACE GOD. I don’t know about you, but the party scene ain’t what it appears to be.
2. “I AM A PERSONAL GOD, BUT I AM TO BE REVERED.”
(A) HE IS A PERSONAL GOD
Sometimes we have a false portrayal of who God is. At times we get a picture of God being this big gray haired guy who lives way out in space and is so far away that He could never relate to the world, much less my personal problems. Well, God is right here with us. He isn’t old, because he is eternal. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He isn’t old and He isn’t far away. He is within us. Through the Holy Spirit (which is God) is living right within our very being. We can conclude that God is close, but He is also personal. He desires to be a part of our lives. He wants us to talk to Him. He wants to walk with us.
Just like John at the table of the Last Supper. Scripture tells us that John is reclined against Jesus. That’s Jesus! Personal and close. BUT—
(B) HE IS TO BE FEARED AND REVERED
This same John who was reclined against Jesus is seen in the Book of Revelation on his face before Jesus. We have to be careful and not get so caught up in the closeness of Christ that we forget to give Him the reverence that He deserves. Now to steal the vessels from the temple was bad enough. God allowed that to happen to correct Israel. But when Belshazzar broke the vessels out and used them at his drunken party - wow! That’s slapping God in the face. I believe there are times that we as believers have to have respect for God and things that belong to Him. We should be careful to teach our children that the church is a place to respect God. We have a gym for playing and running, but the sanctuary is a sacred place. Not necessarily to the point we have to act like He’s dead and we’re attending His funeral each week, but a place to give respect.