Daniel spent the evening in prayer. Tonight was a particularly difficult time of struggle. The sounds from the party were echoing in his chamber. His heart had been torn from his chest earlier when he heard King Belshazzar yell out, “Bring the chalices from the temple in Judah.”
“LORD God have mercy on their souls. They don’t realize the extent of their sins. The alcohol has taken control. Please keep them from over-stepping their bounds established by You. I know they deserve punishment, but, I also know I must intercede for them…”
A knock on the door shook Daniel from is thoughts. He stood and opened the door. He recognized the two envoys of the king.
One of them pulled the door open all the way. “Daniel, King Belshazzar requests your presence at the party immediately.”
Daniel pushed back from the door and shook his head. “I have no desire to attend that drunken orgy.”
The second man reached in and grabbed Daniel’s sleeve. “There’s been an extraordinary development. He needs your God-given wisdom now.”
Daniel leaned an ear toward the window. Sure enough, the music, laughter and screams had stopped. He turned to the two men. “I’ll do whatever I can.”
Daniel willed his feet to carry him to the back of the room where the king was. The stench of alcohol, vomit, and various other bodily functions assailed his senses to an extreme. He fixed his gaze straight ahead so as not to fill his eyes with the nudity that still surrounded him.
The king’s face was pale as he stared at the wall. Daniel bowed in his presence.
One of the envoys spoke. “King Belshazzar, I present to you Daniel from Judah.”
Belshazzar turned to Daniel. “Are you that Daniel my father brought from Judah? I have heard that the Spirit of God is in you so that you can interpret dreams and solve riddles. I saw a hand come here and write this on the wall.” He pointed to the place he was staring at. “If you can read this and give its interpretation I will clothe you in purple, put a gold chain around your neck and make you the third ruler in Babylon. None of my other wise men could do so.”
Daniel held a hand in front of him. “You can keep you gifts, King Belshazzar. I have no desire for them, but I will read this and tell you its interpretation.”
He faced the wall and studied the writing while sending up a silent prayer. He shook his head when he turned toward the king. “Your father was given a mighty kingdom and power by God. Stubborn pride pulled the king to God’s judging table. The time spent as a wild beast returned Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity to him in time for him to be re-established on his throne before his death. You should have remembered this my king. Instead you set yourself up against God by profaning His implements of worship in this way.
“You mocked the God who holds your very breath in His hands, King Belshazzar. The hand you saw was sent by God. This is His message to you.
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN
Mene: The days of your reign have been judged and ended.
Tekel: You have been found lacking on His scales.
Parsin: Your kingdom has been divided between the Medes and the Persians.”
King Belshazzar stood and clapped. “Bring a purple robe and a gold chain. You, Daniel, are now the third ruler in Babylon.”
Daniel stood as the robe and chain were set on him. Then he returned home to continued to pray for that nation’s rulers.
This chilling scene recorded in Daniel chapter five should stand as a reminder to all rulers what can happen if they cross God’s line of authority for rulers. It doesn’t because they don’t read about it. What a shame.
There’s a line repeated in this chapter I want to emphasize. It was first used by someone who apparently didn’t attend the original party. The queen came in when she heard the noise come to an abrupt halt. She quickly remembered a man who was recognized as having the spirit of the gods in him, Daniel.
King Belshazzar uses this description of Daniel when he addresses him the first time he comes on the scene.
Would someone use that phrase for you?
As recipients of God’s grace today we have His Spirit living within us as a deposited proof of adopted kinship.
Are there any outward signs you have this condition in your life? Would someone say you have the Spirit of God in you?
Would you have gone to the king’s party to enjoy the benefits of being one of his upper elite? Or, would you have kept yourself pure for God by staying home and praying for those in charge?
We know the route Daniel took and we see the way God honored him. It’s much longer-lasting than the honors the Babylonian king bestowed on him.
I hope your desire is to serve the one true God in heaven over any earthly leader, be it of a country or a company. Devote yourself to establishing God’s kingdom over any man’s kingdom and you’ll never regret that decision.
It may cost you a good-paying, high-level position in the company you always wanted to work for. God will honor you for taking a stand for Him.
I’ll see you later. Wade