Spitting in the Face of God Sermon



Daniel 5

Daniel 5:1-9. “King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone. Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lamp stand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way. The king called out for the enchanters, astrologers and diviners to be brought and said to these wise men of Babylon, ‘Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.’ [His father, Nabonidus was number one, he was only number two, so number three was as good as he could offer]. Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or tell the king what it meant. So King Belshazzar became even more terrified and his face grew more pale. His nobles were baffled.”

Obviously, the king consumed too much of his wine and his judgement was clouded. He did a stupid thing.

He said, “Remember those golden goblets King Nebuchadnezzar took from the Hebrew Temple? They are over in the museum. Go get ‘em and let’s drink out of ‘em. We’ll show that puny Hebrew God who is in charge around here.”

Belshazzar was really spitting in God’s face.

Everyone there recognized something supernatural was happening. It was God crashing the king’s party to say….THIS PARTY IS OVER!

Without Jesus: You may party hard—but judgement is near!

Daniel 5:10-28. “The queen [this is not one of Belshazzar’s wives. This is who we would call the “Queen Mother.” She is probably one of the daughters of Nebuchadnezzar, perhaps one of the wives of Nabonidus. When she speaks, everyone listens] hearing the voices of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet hall. ‘O king, live forever!’ she said. ‘Don’t be alarmed! Don’t look so pale! There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. King Nebuchadnezzar your father–your father the king, I say–appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. This man Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.’

[So he calls him and tries to bribe him, verse 16]

Now I have heard that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems. If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom. Then Daniel answered the king, ‘You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes. But you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription. This is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. This is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.’”

Daniel was not impressed with Belshazzar’s offer. The gifts and calling of God are not for sale at any price.

Daniel was faithful to preach the Word of the Lord, even though it was an unpopular message.

He didn’t preach what the king wanted to hear. He preached what the king needed to hear.

Can you read the writing on the wall?

 John 3:18  “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only son.”

Romans 8:1  “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Don’t mess with God!