Lessons from Daniel, The Writing on the Wall

Lessons from Daniel

The Writing on the Wall (Daniel 5:1-31)

In this lesson we will look at the downfall of Belshazzar and the end of the Kingdom of Babylon. This fall is the result of foolish pride and we saw the danger of pride in the previous lesson in this series. Here we will see a great example of learning from the mistakes of others instead of having to make the same mistakes ourselves.

Who was Belshazzar?

In the passage it says that Nebuchadnezzar was the father of Belshazzar. It would appear from other scripture in the word of God (2 Kings 25:27 ; Jeremiah 27:7 ; Jeremiah 52:31) that he was actually the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar who co-reined with his father. Either way it is important that he is a direct descendant of Nebuchadnezzar who was familiar with the history of Nebuchadnezzar.

What is going on in the passage?

Belshazzar is throwing a massive party for his lords and in doing so there is much evil going on at this event. When they were drinking Belshazzar wanted to praise the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone so he had them bring him the vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had brought from the temple of God when he conquered Jerusalem. Belshazzar drank from these vessels and when he did God sent forth judgment.

The Writing on the wall:

God sends part of a hand and it writes a message on the wall, the message is MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. No one can interpret the message so they send for Daniel he interprets the message and tell the King that God has numbered his kingdom and finished it and he has been weighed in the balances and found wanting. His kingdom will also be divided and given to the Medes and the Presians. That night the king is killed and Darius the Median takes over the kingdom.

What is the lesson for us in this?

Note that Daniel tells Belshazzar about how God turned Nebuchadnezzar into a wild beast and even though he knows this he did not humble his heart. He followed in the same pride that Nebuchadnezzar had and did learn from his mistakes.

There is a saying that experience makes the best teacher. But in reality someone else’s experience is the best teacher. When we learn from experience we carry the scares of the mistakes when we learn from someone else’s experience we don’t have the scares. This is why the Bible was given to us it is full of examples (Romans 15:4). When your parents and your pastors warn you and give you wise counsels don’t be like Belshazzar learn from them.

Lessons from Daniel

The Writing on the Wall (Daniel 5:1-31) : Handout

1)  Who was Belshazzar?

2)  What is he doing in this passage?

3)  What happens when he defiles the vessels from the temple of God?

4)  Who interprets the writing and what does it mean?

5)  What happens to Belshazzar that night?

6)  What is the lesson for us in all this?