Daniel 5:1 – Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
Hey all, new blog today. And from Daniel 5, the chapter on Belshazzar. Just the one chapter on him, but it’s God’s report on his life. The saying “writing on the wall” comes from this part of the Bible, because Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar, made a great feast, and used all the holy things that the Babylonians had taken from the temple of God when they routed Judah to party with. He had no fear of God. Although the instruments of the temple were just instruments, they had been consecrated for the worship and service of the Lord, and hence they were holy. And Belshazzar threw a great party with them! A drunken party full of unholiness and sin, and using God’s things to do it with. Not much fear of God there at all from the son of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar who had found all about being humbled greatly in the sight of God. Using holy things to party with, well that’s the church by and large today, messing around with holy things. There is a big danger with deadly familiarity with holy things, God doesn’t mess around, and people may be getting by, but they’re not, the stay of execution is not God winking at sin, but instead his longsuffering and mercy… but nevertheless just like with Belshazzar, time runs out on all of us. Christians today use holy things as part of unholy lives.
So Belshazzar threw a party! Sound like today? So many of us living high. But on the precipice of judgement and eternity. No putting God first, no taking care of things that matter, instead it’s all about having fun and pursuing our pleasures, goals, dreams and ambitions. And as they were partying in Babylon, partying their lives away as it were, there appeared a hand writing on the wall. Right in the midst of this drunken partying and reveling a solitary hand wrote several words on the wall in the sight of the people. Scary, in fact so scary that the Bible says Belshazzar’s knees were smiting against each other and the Bible says he was greatly astonished.Even though he was a quivering mess and wanted to know, he still wasn’t really interested, as when he did know what the words meant, he went right back to his party. How often people have an encounter with God or briefly flicker with the light of God being shone on their lives, but then they return straight to their mess. 2 Peter 2:21 – For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
The writing stopped leaving several words on the wall, but nobody knew what it meant. Well, this is so true of today. We have gotten so apostate, so far from God, so far removed from his word, so reprobate to truth, that nobody can make sense of anything anymore. Because when we reject God, all that’s left is delusion. Saul rejected God and disobeyed God, even while being deluded and audacious enough to claim his disobedience as obedience to Samuel the man of God. And God got done with him. God doesn’t owe any man anything, you’re not too special to go to hell. 1 Samuel 16:14 – But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. 2 Thessalonians 2:11 – And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. So these Babylonian high lifers, party goers, wine drinkers had no clue what the words meant. They had no clue about the judgement coming, they were reprobate and completely alienated from God and truth. You go on sinning and call God a liar and live a wicked life and you’ll never know what hit you. You’ll be so darkened you’ll need a man of God to relay the information to you.
Acts 8:30 – And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? It’s good to be a person who can convey God’s word and hold forth the truth to someone else, and that’s what Daniel was renowned for (good reputation to have!). He wasn’t part of this wretched party, he was probably off partying or actually doing something worthwhile with his life. Belshazzar summoned the man of God to come in. Daniel’s life was one of separation, he was in Babylon, but not OF Babylon. Someone who is truly saved with the Holy Spirit in them will live holy, after all, God is Holy, the Holy Spirit is… HOLY. In this midst of this dark chapter, we see a shining light, Daniel. Wow his life paid off. What a great, upright, righteous man. Not a self righteous idiot, he just simply believed and obeyed and humbled himself before God. It produced a life that was revered by others, sure he wasn’t called to the party for all the pleasure, but when life got real, it was “GET DANIEL HERE”.
So they called Daniel in, a faithful man of God, (funny how when life gets real all of a sudden that scorned, laughed at preacher or man or woman of God or servant of God is suddenly in the highest of high demand … but by then it’s too late, as it was for Belshazzar). And Daniel gave the interpretation.He didn’t fluff around, he didn’t beat around the bush, he said word for word what God said. That’s what saved people should do. Is say and hold forth what God’s WORD says. After all, God’s word is TRUTH. Jesus said it. His word is truth. The Bible says let God be true and every man a liar. So I’m going to take God’s word over your word, over my word. He is the LORD, after all.
And the interpretation of the writing was that Belshazzar had been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Now that is scary. Because we are all being or going to be weighed in the balances before God. God’s word weighs us in the balances, how does your life line up to the book of life? Don’t think anything’s getting by, God will weigh your life out with his perfect balance (no false balances with God!), and if you are not saved and right with God, you WILL be found wanting. You can balance out your life now, or wait till judgement when it’s too late to do anything about it. God’s Word, the Holy Bible, is the balance. It is written down and you and I are without excuse. New Bibles are new balances humans try to create, but the Bible says a false balance is an abomination to the Lord. Hebrews 4:12,13 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Don’t be deceived, God knows you infinitely better than you do. Don’t trust yourself, trust God, trust the book, God’s word, God authority on life. God can see what you can’t, he can do what you cannot.
Belshazzar was found wanting, and once again, if you are not saved and right with God, your life under the blood of Jesus Christ, forgiven, redeemed, repentant, clear before holy God, you will be found wanting. The Bible says if the righteous scarcely be saved where shall the ungodly appear? The BEST of us are still wanting, it’s Jesus Christ who’s life is perfect. We only go to heaven on his merit, through believing and receiving what he has done for us. The writing on the wall pronounced the doom of Belshazzar and Babylon. Game over. Well, you would think that would have made some impression on him wouldn’t you. But even though Belshazzar had feared and called for Daniel and heard the word from the Lord and even made Daniel great, he still partied on!! he sent Daniel away and went right back to it! Craziness. He heard the message of judgement from Daniel and just kept going right along. That seed of the word of God found no good soil in his hard, proud, rebellious heart. It fell by the wayside. But that same night we read Belshazzar was slain. God’s word was fulfilled, right on time. Don’t think God is tarrying or missing in action, he is WAY on top of things. He is not slack concerning his promises. And so today, the warning of God is clear and plain and yet people are so alienated and God is so strange to them that they do not have any ability to recognize anything. Upside down thinking and living produces lives so incredibly messed up and decisions so poor it boggles the mind.
The enemy (the Medes and Persians) was at the gates of the city as they partied, they had already breached the city, little did Belshazzar know it.They found a way past the impregnable walls that Belshazzar had his faith in. Belshazzar felt pretty safe, Babylon had dominated so much of the world, his life was set, a mighty army, big walls, and all that. But a breach was upon his city and upon his life and soul and spirit. And the enemy was coming in like a flood. The only thing we should trust in God and his promises to us. Because while his word doesn’t fail, everything else does and will. After all, heaven and earth shall pass away, but God’s word won’t pass away the Bible says. Maybe Belshazzar thought he’d address the judgement of God at a later date, finish his party first, had some concubines to get back to… but it was all going down RIGHT NOW. God spared Nineveh when they repented, who knows if God would change his mind? But Belshazzar was negligent… with his own soul. How useful is that pleasure he had with his women in hell right now? Where he’s been for aaages already and forever to come. We have an enemy closing in on unsuspecting us today. We are but a heartbeat, a step away from eternity. Anything could go wrong, Jesus said our time is always ready. Could be any second. Most people plan their life out, and when young think the whole life is ahead of them. For many it doesn’t go as planned. Is hell and eternity in the lake of fire in your plans? Is it really worth going there for a bit of temporary, fleeting worldly pleasure and sin? Many people are living a party. In fact the Bible says that in the last days that people would be going about their lives partying living it up just like Belshazzar was … but just like in Noah’s day, with the flood coming, they knew not, until it was too late and the flood came and destroyed them all. Belshazzar knew, but he knew not, and he got destroyed. Babylon went with him as well, his sin and negligence cost other people their lives, sin is selfish at it’s core and affects not just us but many others around us.
Ecclesiastes 12 is a great chapter to read to accompany Daniel 5… remember, I can’t say it better than the Bible says it. Ecclesiastes says to remember thy Creator in thy youth. Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar. He KNEW better, read about Nebuchadnezzar’s life earlier in the book of Daniel… but instead of spending his youth on learning from his father who had experienced repentance and knew the Lord, he was playing games and taking advantage of all the pleasures and fun associated with his position. Why remember thy Creator? Because there is a day coming to your life, to my life, it came to Belshazzar’s life… the day of reckoning. The day of the Lord. There is our personal day of the Lord, then there is the coming day of the Lord upon this wicked world when he comes back as King of kings and Lord of lords. The Bible says when that day comes that all the years or whatever of pleasure that we had and experienced will mean nothing to us, in fact we will have no pleasure in them. Think long and hard about wasting your life on pursuing your own lusts and pleasure, because they will become irrelevant and putrid to you the instant the true reality hits of eternity and life and death. Look where your spirit is going when you die. Ecclesiasties 12:7 – Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Your spirit will return to God for judgement. Want to know Solomon’s conclusion to his life? Vanity!! He had and did everything to to a greater degree than you and I ever will. But we foolishly will pursue the same things he did anyway. Last two verses… Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
These are hard times we live in. Many are falling, in fact most are falling. You don’t have to be a Belshazzar. You can be a Daniel or like the three Hebrew children. Learning about Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as young men and women is infinitely beneficial. Daniel purposed in his own heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s meat. He stood strong in the Lord in Babylon. The three Hebrew children did not fall when all the rest did. You can be the one that doesn’t fall down, even when all others do, even when all others go by the way side in life. And these were the standout men in Babylon… there were many other Jewish boys there that never get a mention, who descended down the Babylon route, who were assimilated into Babylon. But Daniel and these 3 guys never did. They were wise because they read and obeyed God’s word, they held the line. They held the faith, and God honored and blessed them. And whenever things hit the fan, they were called upon, because their counsel and understanding was better. Hey, God’s way is BETTER. Would you rather be a Belshazzar or a Daniel?
Daniel said to Belshazzar (when referencing his father Nebuchadnezzar, and how God had both raised and humbled Nebuchadnezzar) in Daniel 5:22,23 – And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified. Wow! Belshazzar knew better than what he did. But in him was an evil heart of unbelief and disobedience. To whom much is given, much is required. Life can be a party, but one day, and one day soon, the party stops. Its stopped on billions past and will stop on you, yes you, even though you are young and invincible at the moment.
Belshazzar went from invincible and untouchable and a prosperous pleasure filled life to dead the same night. God says he ALWAYS performs his word, his word DOES NOT return unto him void. In Jeremiah God says he will hasten his word to perform it. You can let his word drop by the wayside, or be like Samuel who didn’t let any of God’s words drop to the ground. In Samuel’s day God’s word was precious, is God’s word precious to you, we are in a spiritual famine, especially in our apathetic, fattened with blessing and ease countries. God’s word DEMANDS and gets a response from every person on the planet. One way or another. Everyone has heard and everyone knows, it is INESCAPABLE. God’s word requires action. For most it is unbelief and disobedience, people reject the light because their deeds are evil. But that is an action. Action is inescapable. God says choose life, but most choose death. Word’s like faith and belief are ACTION words, they are not just hearing but “doing” words. Faith without works is dead, be ye doers and not hearers only of the word the Bible says.
There’s so much in Daniel 5, barely scratched the surface. God’s word has infinite value and relevance to us… to ME today, to my life right now. Though thou knewest all this… yet Belshazzar still did what he did. He was weighed in the balances and found wanting. MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN … they were the words. Daniel said MENE meant God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it. God starts and God finishes, his Dad found that out, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. It’s scary when God finishes the story of our lives. And he was finished with Belshazzar. Belshazzar despised God with his actions and his life, he had complete disregard and disrespect for God, for holiness, for obedience. Yeah, even king’s sons need to humble themselves and obey God. God is above and over all. He used holy things to party with. Be really careful with play Christianity, be careful with dragging holy things through the mud of your life. Hebrews 10:26,27 – For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Be careful about trampling on the blood of Jesus, of counting his blood and his sacrifice as nothing. Esau had no regard for holy, special, precious, eternal things, he placed so little value on his birthright he sold it for a morsel of food. Crazy! But it would be even crazier to follow in his footsteps? Today is the day to be saved, call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. God says unto us today, just as in Ezekiel 33:11 – Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Why will ye die O Belshazzar, why will any of us die, God’s provided his Son for our sins, he extends forgiveness, grace, mercy and yet we choose death. Though thou knewest all this… !