The Harvest Is Ripe!
"He will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner"
(From radio broadcast of Bro. Julius Adewumi)
Daniel chapter 5 continued….
Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem and took captive the people. Daniel was one of the captives. Daniel was elevated in the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar. But after Nebuchadnezzar, the new king Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar did not make use of Daniel like his father did. Like many younger kings usually retire the older generation, Daniel most likely was forced to retire. Therefore he was not in the king's service as he was in the days of Nebuchadnezzar until this episode we will read in Daniel chapter 5.
What I want to draw out of this story is this: No matter who you are, especially you that are highly placed in positions in governments, no matter what your rank is, fear before God. Tremble at his word. Honor God and honor his servants. Because, there is a greater king. The Lord God is King of kings and Lord of lords, and He is the overseer over all the earth. Whether you know him or not, He is watching you.
In part 4, we started the story of Belshazzar, how he called for the golden and silver cups which were taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, so that he and his concubines might drink wine with them. Then came the hand-writing on the wall. Belshazzar called for the wise men and the Astrologers to read the writing and no one could.
v.10: "Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house:"
This was the mother of Belshazzar (mother queen), not the wife.
"And the queen spake and said, O, king, live forever: let not thy countenance be changed: there is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made the master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; For as much as an excellent spirit , and knowledge, and understanding , interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation."
Now just like the scripture said, "with the ancient is wisdom", old age sometime will tell. This is one of the reasons the bible command in the church of God that "older women should teach younger women to love their husbands, to keep the house". Some of this is not being done. That is why you see younger women sometime divorcing, disrespectful to their husbands, rebellious and wanting to be like the women of the world in women-liberation. Because the older women that had wisdom and experience are not teaching the younger women how to keep house.
The queen mother said, call for Daniel, he will interpret the writing. So Daniel was called.
v.13: "Then was Daniel brought forth before the king. And the king spake and said, art thou that Daniel, which art of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?"
Now you can see how Belshazzar was disrespectful. He was still thinking of Daniel as one of the men of the captivity of Judah, when Daniel had served in that kingdom for perhaps almost forty something years. He ought to be saying, "are you not that Daniel who was the former governor of the city, or former governor in the palace gate? or the retired governor of the palace? Instead of showing such respect for Daniel's previous position in the kingdom, he was addressing him as an ex-slave, ex-captive. That was disrespectful! All of those things were accumulating for this king and you will see the end of him in a moment.
v.14: "I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee".
Even the king's mother said Daniel had the spirit of the "holy gods" in him, but Belshazzar was so disrespectful and careless, he said Daniel had the spirit of the gods (holy or not).
v.15-16: " ….. and I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom."
Daniel was going to rebuff him in a moment.
v.17: "Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation."
That was the first rebuff Daniel gave to this king who had been disrespectful. He had not only been disrespectful to Daniel , He had disrespected God. Daniel could look around and recognize those golden vessels from the temple of God of Jerusalem on the king's table being used to drink wine. Daniel had been in that palace for years, he knew where they kept those golden vessels. He was one of them praying that God would restore Jerusalem and restore all those vessels to a new temple of God in Jerusalem, according to the prophecies by Jeremiah, which Daniel said he had read. (Dan. 9:1-2). When God allowed the Jews to be taken captive, he was also saying through the mouth of the same prophet Jeremiah that , all those temple vessels, in 70 years God would bring them back to Jerusalem. That sounded impossible then, but not with God.
Daniel was one of them praying that "Lord, restore Jerusalem, restore your temple". He could have gone several times to pray over those temple vessels for their restoration to Jerusalem one day. For a king to come along and began to use the vessels for his drinking would be like a setback to Daniel's prayers, wouldn't it? He knew this man had gone too far! Indeed Belshazzar went too far. What he did may look simple, but to God, Belshazzar had gone too far.
Don't mess with God, young man. Don't mess with God, old man. Don't mess with God's servants, you that call yourself a ruler of the people, for the bible said "he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." (2Sam. 23:3). Remember that, you king, you ruler, you presidents of countries. Remember this: You must rule in the fear of God.
Belshazzar was an example of someone who did not fear God. God is watching the affairs of men.
Let's see what the finger wrote. Daniel told him the background why the fingers came in the first place, Daniel might have seen a vision of what was going on in that palace before he was called. He reminded Belshazzar how Nebuchadnezzar his father was first lifted up in pride and how the God of heaven brought him down to eat grass like oxen, and that Belshazzar also has not humbled himself before God.
v.20: "But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruleth in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knowest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified. Then was part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
PERES; Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians."
Not only would the king be overthrown, but the kingdom would be taken over by the Medo-Persians. Now the Medo-Persians were their enemies at that time. Daniel just told them the Medo-Persians were coming. Just like Jeremiah told the Jews, Babylon was coming.
Belshazzar thought it was a joke. He declared Daniel the third ruler of the kingdom -- the short-lived kingdom.
v.30: "In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about three score and two years old."
The enemies were already inside the city, partying with them, waiting for the proper time to strike. They must have heard the interpretation of the writing, and said, "this is it, God is on our side!"
What are we saying? God is watching the earth! You may be a king, or a ruler, or the president of the United Nations, or the Emir of a people, or a manager of some employees, or the boss in a factory. No matter what your rank or position is, remember as you rule over men, or you are not ruling over men just over your own house. Remember this "he that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." You must fear God, and honor him. Especially because you are dealing with men whom God created in his image.
If you say you don't even believe there is a God. You may not believe there is a God, but your life is in his hand. Like Belshazzar, he might not believe there is any God, but Daniel came and told him that "the God in whose hand is your breath, you have not glorified". Whether you believe God or not, your breath, whether you will live tomorrow or not, is in his hand. Repent and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For this God manifested on earth as Jesus Christ to save mankind from self-destruction.
It is not the will of the father that any should perish but that all should come to repentance and be saved.
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry
Phoenix AZ 85046
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry
Box 30387, Phoenix, AZ 85046, USA.
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