Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 5

Outline and Background of Daniel 5

Sacrilege of Belshazzar - Daniel 5:1-4

Shock of Belshazzar - Daniel 5:5-6

Summons of the Wise Men and Solution of the Queen - Daniel 5:7-17

Sermon from Daniel - Daniel 5:18-25

Significance of the Handwriting - Daniel 5:26-28

Sequel of Events - Daniel 5:29-31

Applications and Typical Prophecies - Daniel 5

Sermon from Daniel - Daniel 5:18-25

It is difficult to know exactly what Belshazzar meant by “I have heard the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have intelligence and outstanding wisdom.” He may have learned
this fact from his grandparents long before this night. If so, he is doubly culpable.

Daniel was offered the same reward for reading and interpreting the writing, as the king offered to the wise men. The prophet wanted no part of his gifts. Before the night is over, they would be worthless. In addition, he may have been saying, “Keep your gifts, I cannot be bribed.”

Before Daniel interpreted the handwriting on the wall, the bold and courageous prophet preached a sermon to Belshazzar that recounted the
conversion of Nebuchadnezzar and condemned Belshazzar.

Daniel’s Sermon to Belshazzar

The Progress of Nebuchadnezzar was God given, 18.

The Power of Nebuchadnezzar was God given, 19.

The Pride of Nebuchadnezzar was his downfall, 20.

The Punishment of Nebuchadnezzar was God taking his throne away, 20.

The Poor in Spirit Nebuchadnezzar had acknowledged God’s rule over him, 21.

The Points of the Sermon are aimed at Belshazzar, 22-23:

He did not humble himself.

He did not profit by the dealings of God with his grandfather.

He set himself against God.

He desecrated the sanctified vessels of the house of God.

He praised idol gods.

The Pronouncements of God are in the handwriting, 24-28.

Here, the boldness and courage of Daniel is apparent. OT prophets often made predictions concerning the future. But primarily, the prophets were covenant enforcers. The people were assured of God’s blessing if they repented, and warned of His curses if they did not. Here the prophet’s sermon demonstrates that Belshazzar had sinned against knowledge, blasphemed God, committed idolatry, and that he is cursed. The day of reckoning had arrived.

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