I will be doing a series from the Book of Daniel. I believe it will be very useful to us at this time of a global health crisis.
Daniel & his friends/colleagues were caught up in a crisis of sorts back in their own day: the loss of their freedom & had to live & flourish under a different atmosphere.
Key Points from Chapter 5
- Belshazzar made a great feast to a thousand of his lords and drank wine before the thousand. He entertained his lords, wives and concubines and commanded the silver and golden vessels his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem to be brought out, and they were used by those he entertained to drink wine.
- They also praised the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone.
- In that same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace and Belshazzar saw it. This really troubled him.
- As his father would’ve done, he called for all the wise men of Babylon to explain the meaning of the writing, with promises of gifts and an upgrade in political office, to be the third ruler in the kingdom. This was an interesting proposition.
- None of the wise men were able to decipher the writing or explain its meaning.
- The queen then told the king that there was a man in the kingdom called Daniel who she was sure could solve the problem.
- Belshazzar then called for Daniel.
- Daniel started by making it clear to the king that he wasn’t desirous of his gifts or elevation. He then reminded him about the admonition his father, Nebuchadnezzar, had received from God when he became hardened and proud. Belshazzar knew all these.
- The king still gave Daniel that which he had promised. Daniel was decorated and promoted.
- That same night, Belshazzar was killed, and Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being 32 years old.
- At this point in time, Belshazzar was King. It seemed he was given to revelry. The over-the-top sort. He was the son of Nebuchadnezzar.
- Just because one is the leader and quite powerful does not mean one is free to do that which offends God. He punishes such disobedience.
- It is instructive that Belshazzar did not really know about Daniel, especially given his “accomplishments”.
- Daniel was not desirous of gifts and status. He was prudent and wise.
- Daniel was able to decipher and explain the handwriting. He solved the problem and was elevated according to the promises that Belshazzar had made.
- Here was Daniel, a Hebrew captive brought out of Judah, now the third ruler in Babylon. Talk about elevation.
- Belshazzar said to Daniel, “But I have heard of thee, that thou canst give interpretations, and dissolve doubts”. That’s some serious professional reputation. “Dissolve doubts!” The same should be said about us. We should not be chief complainers.
- It is possible to “flourish” in times of uncertainty, fear and unwelcome constraints.