The Handwriting On The Wall – Daniel 5:1-31


The God of Daniel is not a quiet God. He is not remote or aloof. God interacts with people and reacts depending on their responses. God often has something to say to us. The question is “are we listening?” What are going to when God speaks? We use many phrases from this chapter about failure and disobedience. Weighed and found wanting, etc.

1. The blasphemy of Belshazzar (vs. 1-4)

What a contrast. Nebuchadnezzar was builder and great king. Belshazzar was a “waster”. The empire was a mess due to his squandering lifestyle. God was not pleased with shameful display of Belshazzar. He is about to be sobered up by God!

There is subtlety in blasphemy. There is plenty of blasphemy still today. God is still not impressed by those who mock Him and judgment can come suddenly.

2. The prophecy of Daniel (vs. 10-16)

The magicians were a waste of time to consult. They were still failing to learn the lesson. It is the mother of Belshazzar, the Queen, who remembers Daniel.

Daniel doesn’t immediately give the interpretation of the dream. Daniel gives Belshazzar a history lesson. Nebuchadnezzar was a lesson to him, yet Belshazzar still behaves in this disgraceful way. He is failing to honour God and God has decided to put his finger on him. God has lost patience. The three words are all coins and Daniel interprets.

3 – The Purposes and Providence of God (vs. 17-31)

It is God’s sovereignty that shows mercy to one King and deals ruthlessly with another one. It may have been the fact that Nebuchadnezzar showed repentance that saved him from the same fate as Belshazzar. Daniel’s faithfulness and obedience to God means that he is courageous. Belshazzar is promoted to third in the kingdom. Daniel held this post for only a few hours. These shows how temporary the awards and accolades of this world are. In the kingdom that succeeded Belshazzar Daniel was also promoted, but that was due to God, not to Belshazzar.

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Categories: Daniel

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