The Writing on the Wall. Daniel Chapter 5. Setting & Background. Nebuchadnezzar’s rule has now ended, and Belshazzar is now the king Daniel is now an old man (about 70) Daniel is a high official in Babylon over the wise men of the kingdom.
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The Writing on the Wall Daniel Chapter 5
Setting & Background • Nebuchadnezzar’s rule has now ended, and Belshazzar is now the king • Daniel is now an old man (about 70) • Daniel is a high official in Babylon over the wise men of the kingdom. • Belshazzar is the final king Biblically and historically of the Babylonian empire of this time • Although Daniel Chapter 5 refers to Nebuchadnezzar as Belshazzar’s “father” this is in a remote meaning… more like “ancestor”. Nebuchadnezzar was not Belshazzar’s “Dad”.
Recap • Belshazzar has a feast with all his noblemen, wives, and concubines (v2) • A man’s hand appears and writes (v5) • MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN • Belshazzar calls all the wise men together and offers a reward to anyone who can give him the interpretation (v7) • The Queen tells the king that Daniel can interpret the vision (v10-12)
Recap • Daniel reminds Belshazzar of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule, of how he was humbled (v18-21) • Daniel warns Belshazzar that he has become like Nebuchadnezzar, exalting himself over “The Lord of heaven” (v23) • Finally, Daniel gives the interpretation, that Belshazzar has been found deficient and his kingdom has been divided (v26-28) • Belshazzar is killed that very night and his kingdom is given to Darius the Mede(v30-31)
What can we learn about God from Chapter 7? • God will not tolerate wickedness, idolatry or pride • God gives and takes away power from rulers • God’s prophecy is true and will happen • God used miracles as a witness to His power and name
Downfall of Pride • Jeremiah 13:9-11 (New American Standard Bible) • 9"Thus says the LORD, 'Just so will I destroy the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. • 10'This wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this waistband which is totally worthless. • 11'For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,' declares the LORD, 'that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.'
Judah and Babylon • God had lifted His hand of protection from Judah and allowed Babylon to take Daniel and his friends captive as punishment (Daniel 1:1-2) • Now, Daniel’s words are used as a condemnation of Belshazzar’s pride and wickedness (v26-28) • Whether it was Judah (believers) or Babylon (non-believers), pride is intolerable in the sight of our Holy God. Both were punished.
Prophetical Truth of Daniel and Beyond • God said that Nebuchadnezzar would fall, become like a beast, and be restored • It Happened! • God said that Belshazzar would be overthrown and his kingdom given to the Medes & Persians • It Happened! • God gave the time line of the next 4 kingdoms • They occurred just like He said! • God said that He would send a Messiah to die for our sin • He came, died, and rose again!!!!!
God’s use of Miracles • Acts 9:32-42 • Peter heals both Aeneas and Tabitha. Many people believe • John 11:14,43; John 12:9-11 • Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and many Jews put their faith in Christ • Acts 4:8-12 • Jesus was crucified, buried and raised from the dead so that all of us may believe!
Discussion • How does Daniel model our response to God? • How can we be more effective in God’s kingdom? • Do our actions reflect trust in Him? What can we change to better reflect His grace?