TEXT: Daniel 5:1-6
1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
2 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.
3 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.
4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
5 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.
6 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.
This is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but if you listen and take heed, this particular series can not only change your life spiritually, but it can save your life physically.
Belshazzar was the son of the last king of Babylon. We come to this passage at a time when the king, Nabonidus, is on a prolonged absence from the city and so his son, Belshazzar, sits on the throne as regent. During his regency, the army of the Medes and Persians marches against Babylon. Belshazzar, foolishly trusting in the strength of the walls of Babylon to keep the invaders out, schedules a “great feast” at the time of the assault. He invites a thousand of his lords to the feast and drinks wine with them to the point of drunkenness.
We are all familiar with what happens next: In his inebriated state, he calls for the vessels of the Hebrew Temple to be brought so that the wine can continue to be poured and drank by him, “his princes, his wives, and his concubines.” As they drink out of vessels dedicated to the worship of God, they praise the false “gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone.”
About this time, Belshazzar notices a disembodied hand writing on the wall across from him. This scares him so much that he quickly becomes somewhat sober and demands an interpretation. After the court astrologers fail to interpret the mysterious writing, he calls for the Jewish prophet Daniel who has, in Belshazzar’s words, “the spirit of the holy gods,” and offers him a reward to interpret the strange words, “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.” Daniel, of course, rejects the gifts but interprets the writing saying, “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.”
Unlike the passage in Ezekiel which we have looked at over the past three messages in this series, the king’s gluttony and drunkenness is not named specifically as a cause for the destruction of Babylon. However, it does show us the lifestyle of those who engage in gluttonous behavior. Gluttony and drunkenness are often coupled with partying, riotous behavior, foolishness, and idolatry. It is a well-known fact that alcohol lowers one’s inhibitions. A person in an inebriated state may do or say things that they would not otherwise do or say. If Belshazzar hadn’t been drunk, he probably never would have called for the vessels of the Temple. Being filled with food can have the same effect. We feel satisfied after a good meal, and, without the power of the Holy Spirit, that can lead to physical sin and neglect of spiritual duties. It is always good to intake food and drink with moderation so that we can remain in full control of our mental and physical state at all times.
If the Lord tarries his coming and we live, next time, we will continue looking at what the Bible tells us about overcoming gluttony, obesity, and God’s plan for man’s eating habits.
PRACTICAL STEP: In “The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle,” Mike Anderson shares “essential dietary guidelines” that are the keys to the RAVE diet. He writes, “The #1 Golden Rule: Always eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. Eat whole foods that come in their natural packages and avoid foods that come in a package or can, unless they are fresh-frozen. Some of the sample menus will contain items that are canned. This is for convenience. If you can find the item in its natural state or are willing to take the time to prepare it, instead of buying it in a can, then you should do so.
“2. Always eat whole foods: In packaged goods, look for the words ‘whole,’ ‘sprouted wheat’ or ‘organic rolled oats’ in the first ingredient, not the second or third. Always eat whole-wheat pastas or whole wheat breads. Make sure the label says whole wheat, not wheat flour. Don’t let the words ‘hearty wheat,’ ‘stoned wheat,’ or ‘multigrain’ on the package fool you. Such ingredients are made from refined white flour and there’s no difference between white flour and wheat flour. Wheat flour has some caramel coloring and sounds healthier, but it’s not.”
In closing, as we focus on overcoming the sin of gluttony, and managing our bodies as God intended, we must not lose sight of the most important part of our existence — our spiritual life. Even those of you who are fit, who eat right, and who exercise regularly must still address the condition of your soul. You may keep your body in perfect condition till the day you die, but you will still die — we all will, and the only thing that will matter is the condition of your soul. Is your soul in shape? Is your soul in right standing with God?
The only way to make sure of that is to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and the consequences of sin. He alone can save your soul, put you in right standing with God, and ensure that you do not perish in Hell. Now, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how you can trust Him today.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.