Summary: There is a last night for everyone, a last breath, a last statement. All of us are weighed in God’s balances - every day.
OPEN BIBLES TO Daniel 5 & 1 Corinthians 1.26
1. Leaders come and go.
a. Even though they are confident that their reign will last forever, it doesn’t. EVER. NEVER. Leaders, they come & go.
Psalm 75.7 But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another.
FOR SURE: Nebuchadnezzar was that kind of guy. I’ll rule forever!
• Bow down to my image. Look at my gardens.
• My kingdom, My reign, My life… will last forever.
• THOSE WERE FAMOUS LAST WORDS!
• But it didn’t. He passed on. AND History tells us that he died on October 7, 562 BC. He lived a wild life… ups & downs.
• But I believe we’ll meet Nebuchadnezzar in heaven… one of the many UNREACHABLES that God REACHED in a BIG WAY!
NOW for about 6 years after his death there was a vicious fight going on for the rule of the Babylonian Kingdom.
• Assassinations. Conspiracies. Secret Plots.
• Finally, a king named Nabonidus came to power.
• His son was Belshazzer whom we meet today.
• He was left in control of Babylon while his dad was off in Arabia
I. (5:1-4) A WILD PARTY
1. (1) A Big Party
a. Belshazzar has an idea: Dad’s out of town so let’s call all the nobles together and party.
b. We’ll drink a lot. And we’ll make a lot of stupid decisions!
2. (2-4) Serious Mistakes.
a. Of course, we’ve studied this in depth before, but alcohol causes so many problems & sorrows.
b. Estimated that Americans spend $33 Billion a year on alcohol
c. For every person addicted to heroin, there are 15 hardcore alcoholics in our nation.
d. It’s a problem now just like it was a problem then.
The alcohol in Belshazzar’s system caused him to defy God!
• He took the vessels (v2) that Nebuchadnezzar took from the Temple when Jerusalem was conquered.
• They were sacred & holy & set apart to honor & serve God!
• We never read of Nebuchadnezzar defiling them, and Belshazzar grew up in that environment. He knew better.
BUT HE decides to call for them & use them in this drunken orgy.
• He’s showing everybody in Babylon that they’re nothing.
• And that he has no respect for the God which they represent!
• And we see… in v4, they used them and enjoyed them!
Why? Why is he doing this? I mean I understand that he wants to party and that he likes to drink, and that can alter his thinking.
• But why? Why do people make these kinds of bad decisions?
• Blindness. He doesn’t really see that it’s wrong.
• He’s spiritually blind and acting like it!
NOTE: There’s a great contrast between the great & gracious God of the universe who loves man and uses man…
• And the god of this age, Satan who is hateful and hurtful and instead of using man, he abuses man, horribly.
• Let’s turn first to 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
APP: And so If I’m blinded, and I don’t see God at the pinnacle of my life, then my value system is in need of change & adjustment!
• The problem is that I don’t know… LISTEN CAREFULLY.
• If you’re here today and you’re partially or completely blind when it comes to spiritual things, you don’t’ see their value.
• The message from God’s Word doesn’t really click with you.
• You’re not really moved by music, or songs that speak of loving God, sacrificing your life, it’s not hitting home.
• If that’s you… understand, God loves you and is trying through all of these to penetrate your heart and mind.
• And believers, what we need to do is NOT POINT the finger, but BOW THE KNEE to reach those around us that don’t know.
• We were all there, all of us. But God moved then and He’s still moving today!
II. (5:5-9) A WILD WRITING
1. (5-6) God Crashes the Party!
a. He just shows up. He begins to write on the wall. WOW!
b. This really messed up Belshazzar’s mind! He’s messed up.
c. He’s mentally astonished. He’s physically drained!
d. Reality is setting in, he’s sobered up immediately!
NOW there IS something interesting going on outside the large and ominous walls of Babylon during this party.
• Four months before Babylon fell, the Medes & Persians had attacked & conquered most of the surrounding cities & villages.
• Many believe the 1000 Lords & Nobles here in Babylon partying were there because they left their posts and were in retreat!
• When the going gets tough, these guys got going!
• Babylon was also sitting on enough food to last 20 years.