My daughter once came home from a trip wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan: Not Listening. As parents, we cringed. The shirt illustrated the slogan with a cute penguin wearing headphones. I modified the t-shirt by blocking over the words, but she never wore it again. Every detail in Daniel 5 shows that Belshazzar embraced this slogan.
On the night of his death, Belshazzer entertained a thousand of his best friends. They drank in goblets from the temple of Jerusalem, praising the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone. Sound familiar? As Daniel reminded Belshazzer of King Nebuchadnezzar’s humbling experiences as ruler, I can imagine Belshazzer reaching for a goblet refill.
When his soldiers delivered loot from Jerusalem’s temple, King Nebuchadnezzar placed it in the Babylonian temple. While he didn’t know God yet, he still held a reverence for holy things. Earlier Scripture stories show that for those not listening, loss followed: Uzzah touched the Ark and died; Holy fire killed Nadab and Abihu; King Saul lost the kingdom of Israel. Isaiah foretold Cyrus conquering Babylon. Belshazzer had access to all these stories. Not listening!
Despite Belshazzer’s desecration of the temple items, his drunkenness and pride, God took no pleasure in his death. Pride resides in all of us. King Hezekiah’s boasting planted seeds of destruction. King Nebuchadnezzar did the same. Both these kings humbled their hearts. Belshazzer’s choices march across time, urging all to listen to the God who can change and perfect us.
This blog summarizes and shares personal insights on The Final Days: Daniel 5: Belshazzar’s Last Night, a verse-by-verse study of Daniel, presented by Pastor Christopher Barr at Huntsville Central Seventh-day Adventist church, Huntsville, Alabama. To find a seminar near you, visit Bible Prophecy Seminars.
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