DARE TO BE A DANIEL
The Handwriting Is On The Wall
Jerry A Collins
How does living in luxury make it easier to forget God?
What does living for my pleasure produce in my life that angers God?
Why does luxury and pleasure conflict with humility?
Luxurious living is a goal our
society proudly pursues. It is characterized by self-indulgence,
self-sufficiency and a this side of the grave
mentality. The most serious consequence of luxurious living is the reality of
forgetting God. He is not necessary. God becomes obsolete. He is marginalized. Irrelevant. Yet, God takes notice of this in one’s life. God never intends for the wealth he
has given to lead us to living luxuriously. If our wealth develops pride or
produces insensitivity to righteousness or dulls our senses with pleasure or
satisfies me with only short-term gratification, then God says I will be judged
by Him for this. James 5:5 tells us why we will be judged You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure;
you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. The announcement in
Daniel 5 of the king’s coming judgment
by a mysterious hand writing on the wall, illustrates the outcome of a life
lived luxuriously. Nearly 25 years has passed since Chp
4 and over 70 yrs since chp 1. 1-4 gave us account of
1 LIVING LUXURIOUSLY RESULT OF PRIDE THAT IGNORES GOD
1 Enjoying the best of what the world has to offer. No-one at this party is thinking about God or His plan. Another amusement needed to impress people and indulge.
2-4 3 times the golden
vessels of the
2. GOD OPPOSES LUX LIVING PRIDE AND WILL JUDGE IT
5-9 The handwriting is on the wall has become a modern-day parable for disaster about to happen. Suddenly, God intervenes. God has a limit to how far He will allow men to go in their sin. There is a time when judgment comes. They crossed that line during this evening of luxurious and indulgent living. The king, used to people trembling before him, now stands in absolute fear, barely able to stand, seized with terror. A sense of foreboding and panic gripped him as he immediately summoned his advisors. Twice, in 6 & 9 repeated that king is terrified! He must know what these words mean so he offers a tempting reward.
10-12 When no-one can
answer, the queen mother offers Daniel to be summoned to interpret the words
and their meaning. She was aware of how things were in
13-16 So Daniel is summoned as was suggested. After explaining his situation, the same luxury the king has enjoyed he offers to Daniel if he interprets the inscription on the wall. This is really all the world has to offer anyone. Don’t become allured by it. If you do, it will destroy your life and God will oppose you and remember you are accountable to God for that.
17-21 The King receives
his indictment. It begins in 17 when Daniel refuses the offer of luxury. Daniel
is not for hire. He never has been. These gifts are worthless anyway,
especially since the city is about to fall to the Persians. In
18-21 Daniel preaches a sermon. The point is that the king had failed to learn
the lessons of the past thru the experiences of
22-24 We come back around
to these vessels of the temple being used as tools of blasphemy to God. At the
core is the prideful heart of this king vs 22. Daniel
gives a theological perspective and a context in which to understand the
inscription. The point is that Bel has not learned
anything (humbled his heart) from what happened to Neb. Humility is hard for
people living in luxury. Daniel lists the violations. (1) He exalted himself
against the God of heaven. (2) He is drinking wine from vessels of the
25-28 The interpretation is given by Daniel. Three little words compose this message. The message is so terse it could not be understood. Mena means numbered (God has numbered Bel’s time. Tekel means weighed (God has judged Bel and found him guilty) and upharsin means divided (figure meaning his army has been divided and defeated). Time’s up! It’s over!
instead of repenting he rewards Daniel. That lasted only a few hours. That nite the Persains completed a diversion of the
(1) No matter how much God’s kingdom is ignored, He is ruling and judging in the universe.
(2) While God is sovereign and moves according to His predetermined plan, we participate with our own decisions and behavior.
(3) Don’t mistake the wealth God gives you as your right to live as you please with it. Channel not resovoir. Enjoy it but remember accountable to God for it’s use. It is not God’s blessing, it is just more that you are responsible for.
Ask yourself what it is you are doing with the revelation you have from God in
the Bible. God held Bel responsible for what had
(5) Our maturity depends completely upon our ability to eliminate pride and develop humility. We could actually say that maturity itself is the process of ridding ourselves of pride and developing humility.