Summary: How important it is to pass along the faith we possess so that the succeeding generation will embrace God and His ways.

When a Generation Forgets

Griffith Baptist Church – 4/6/08

P.M. Service

Text: Daniel 5

Main Verse: Daniel 5:22 - And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

The Introduction

The boxer Muhammad Ali was known as ’the champ," arguably the most famous athlete of his generation. He was on top, and his entourage of trainers and various helpers shared the adulation with him. But the party ended, leaving many of Ali’s loyal followers disillusioned, and in some cases, destitute. Ali himself, now halting in speech and uncertain in movement said ’I had the world, and it wasn’t nothin.’" Today in the Word, October, 1990, p. 11

What a waste to have it all and yet have nothing.

This is what the world says is achievement and it has crept into the church

Here we enter the grand celebration that Belshazzar, grandson of Nebuchadnezzer has put on.

1. The Vile Party – 5:1-4

A. A big party with thousands (1)

B. He profanes the God of Israel by using Holy instruments for debauched purposes

C. They worshipped other god’s

2. The Horrible Pause – 5:5-9

A. The hand of a man (no body) seen writing on the wall (5)

B. The king goes faint (gutless and weak) (6)

C. All the conjurers could not interpret, even being offered third place in the kingdom (7)

i. The first place was given to the king; the second, to the son of the king, or of the queen; the third, to the chief of the satraps. Belshazzar was second in command under his father, Nabonidus, who was away from Babylon at the time. Belshazzar was probably offering the interpreter a position directly below him, i.e., third from the top.

ii. Nebuchadnezzer (grandfather and most likely passed on)  Nabonidus (father and first king)  Belshazzar (king, especially while Nabonidus is away, probably defending the city from the Medes and Persians and losing while his weak son parties)

iii. Thus, the promotion would be 3rd place.

3. The Queen’s Proposal – 5:10-12

A. The queen tries to calm him down (10)

B. She tells him about Daniel (11-12)

4. The King’s Plea – 5:13-16

A. Daniel is brought in (13)

B. He tries to flatter Daniel (14)

5. The Prophecy’s Preparation – 5:17-24

A. Daniel is not phased or flattered (17)

B. He recounts the humbling of Belshazzars grandfather (18-21)

C. KEY VERSE: He confronts Belshazzar (22)

D. Judgment is given because of pride (23-24)

6. The Dismal Prophesy – 5:25-28

A. Your kingdom has judged you, put an end to it because you have rebelled against the God of Heaven and it has been given to the Medes and Persians which are outside your gates.

B. Notice, in verses 26-28 that it is phrased in the past tense, as if it has already happened.

7. The Prophets Promotion – 5:29

A. Daniel is clothed in the finest for third place in the kingdom

B. He is promoted to third place, despite his objections (see verse 17)

8. The King’s Passing – 5:30-31

A. That night, the Medes and Persians break through and take over the city

B. Belshazzar is killed and young Darius takes over the country

Transition Statement: With each generation comes the risk of failure. What are these?


1. The Risks of Each Generation

A. Each Generation Getting Too Busy

Is reading the Bible a necessary part of your day or does it have a low priority in your life? George Mueller, after having read the Bible through one hundred times with increasing delight, made this statement: "I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a good time over the Word of God. Friends often say, "I have so much to do, so many people to see, I cannot find time for Scripture study.? Perhaps there are not many who have more to do than I.

For more than half a century I have never known one day when I had not more business than I could get through. For 4 years I have had annually about 30,000 letters, and most of these have passed through my own hands.

"Then, as pastor of a church with 1,200 believers, great has been by care. Besides, I have had charge of five immense orphanages; also, at my publishing depot, the printing and circulating of millions of tracts, books, and Bibles; but I have always made it a rule never to begin work until I have had a good season with God and His Word. The blessing I have received has been wonderful.?

Counter Attack, Jay Carty, Multnomah Press, 1988, pp. 155ff

i. Busy making money

ii. Busy making sure we have job security

iii. Busy with hobbies, friendships, projects

iv. Today, we teach our children it’s more important have a career than to find time for the Lord or to serve in church

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