Read for This Week’s Study: Daniel 5, Rev. 17:4-6, Ps. 96:5, Col. 1:15-17, Rom. 1:16-32, Eccles. 8:11, Rev. 14:8.
Memory Text: “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” (Daniel 2:21, NKJV).
In Daniel 5, the Word of God gives us a powerful example of human hubris that ends in a stunning and dramatic way. Though one could say that it takes Nebuchadnezzar a long time to learn his lesson, at least he learned it. His grandson, Belshazzar, does not. In using the temple vessels in a palace orgy, Belshazzar desecrates them. Such an act of desecration is tantamount not only to a challenge of God but an attack on God Himself. Thus, Belshazzar fills up the cup of his iniquities, acting in ways similar to the little horn (see Daniel 8), which attacked the foundations of God’s sanctuary. By removing dominion from Belshazzar, God prefigures what He will accomplish against the enemies of His people in the very last days. The events narrated in Daniel 5 took place in 539 B.C., on the night Babylon fell before the Medo-Persian army. Here occurs the transition from gold to silver, predicted in Daniel 2. Once more it becomes evident that God rules in the affairs of the world.