TITLE: THE PARTY IS OVER, WE ARE JUST NOT SOBER ENOUGH TO REALIZE IT
TEXT: DANIEL 5
“Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
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.”
[Daniel 5:1-6; 25-27]
“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
[1 Thessalonians 5:5-8]
In Daniel 5 we are told that God ordained and published the abrupt ending of Belshazzar’s drunken party as well as his degenerate kingdom. Belshzzar and his kingdom had been in peril for years, but he hadn’t been sober enough to grasp his peril until it was too late to save himself and his kingdom.
The handwriting on the wall was sobering, but once it was written the Word of God could not be broken.
Modern day America stands in great peril and like Belshazzer, we too are unable to read the writing upon the wall. Our days are numbered and we stagger in the dark, drunk with our pride, immorality, and godlessness, oblivious to the fact that the enemy is already at the gate.
It’s high time that God’s people sober up, read the writing upon the wall and begin a new walk with Jesus and warn the world to do the same. The Lord has already written the ending, don’t wait until you are sobered by God’s judgment.
1. THE INTOXICANTS
A. Our Liberal Educational System
B. Our Licentious Entertainment Industry
C. Our Lukewarm, Effortless Church
Generations of Americans have now grown up in a nation where from kindergarten they have been forced to constantly drink the worlds intoxicating brews and attend a lukewarm Church who has made no effort to combat these evils, nor to enlighten their members to the truth of God’s Word.
2. THE INTERVENING
A. The Presence of the Prophet Daniel (Chpt. 1)
B. The Purity of the Prophet Daniel (1:8; 6:4)
C. The Prophecies of the Prophet Daniel (Chpt. 2,7,8)
D. The Persistence of the Prophet Daniel (6:10)
Daniel is a prominent character of the Book that carries his name, and why should he not be, he had been providentially placed in Babylon to be a constant witness and warning to the Kingdom and especially to powers within that godless kingdom.
Repeatedly Daniel was given opportunities to intervene in the life of the nation and the lives of its leaders. Daniel constantly and boldly bore witness to the True and Living God and their need to repent and submit unto Him and each time he did so the people were so drunk on pride, power, pleasures and possessions that they never heard a thing he said, or able to perceive the visions he had shown them.
Every Christian should see that they too have been providentially placed where we are in these times to also be a witness of the Lord to a hell bound world. Our presence, our purity, our preaching and our persistent faithfulness to Jesus are meant to be sobering and enlightening warnings to a world on the fast track to judgment.
3. THE INTERPRETATION (5:17-28)
The handwriting of the Lord was now on the wall, yet, the leaders of the Kingdom were so drunk and in such spiritual darkness that they were not able to read it for themselves.
Again, Daniel is called, this time it was to interpret the writing on the wall. Only Daniel could give a true interpretation of the writing.
In our day God has been speaking to our nation and the world in many ways; social unrest, national disasters, financial crisis, godless leaders, waning national power as the power of our nation’s foes are on the rise and there have been few Daniels that are sober enough to be able to interpret these events as God’s providential warnings and even fewer who have been willing to listen and repent.
4. THE INTOXICATED (5:6-31))
A. Suddenly Sobered (5:6)
B. Strikingly Scared (5:6)
C. Surprisingly Serious (5:7-12)
D. Sadly Sentenced (5:25-31)
Belshzzar and his Kingdom are a type and a warning to a Christ rejecting, godless world, that is in the dark and living as drunkards, oblivious to the fact that they and their world are quickly heading to judgment and like Belshazzar, the majority on the broad road will never awaken until they are sobered by inescapable judgment (Matthew 24:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4) which shall one day suddenly fall upon them, just as it did in the Days of Noah, when after 120 years of Noah’s warnings, one day the door of the ark of refuge was shut and the windows of heaven were opened and the full and final judgment of God was poured out upon an a world that set in willful darkness.
“While it is said, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:15), has always been God’s warning. tomorrow may never come for the constant rebel.
“He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” (Proverbs 29:1) This warning has shown to be true for nations as well as for the individual.
ill. During my first pastorate, after a revival service one evening I was asked by a young couple if I would meet with them I agreed and I don’t believe I will ever forget that meeting.
The young couple told me that they had both been saved a year or so earlier, but had knowingly refused the Lord’s repeated promptings to follow on with Him and live a dedicated life. At the time they had a baby that was just a few months old and the dearest thing to their heart.
They told me that one day the baby took sick and died and as they were standing at the graveside of their precious baby they both came to the realization that the Lord had been serious about His call to follow Him with all their heart. They told me that that was exactly what they were now wanting to do that night and asked me if I would bow with them and ask the Lord to forgive them and give them the grace to live for them, but as we were ready to knell the young father looked at me with tears filling his eyes and said words I will never forget.
He said: “Pastor, it didn’t have to come to this, if we had just repented earlier we know our baby would still be with us today.” “IT DIDN’T HAVE TO COME TO THIS”, that is what every rebel will one day lament. When seeing the handwriting on the wall, they will remember the many times God’s people and providential events were God intervening in their life, warning them to repent and turn to Jesus before irrevocable judgment falls.
“While it is said, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:15),
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved.” Romans 10:13)