2007-04-08 - Daniel 5
Daniel 5: 25-31: Through Daniel, God tells Belshazzar that it's all over. He wasn't even the man his grandfather was. The fall of the kingdom is at hand. It was to be. The golden age of Babylon was about to end. Thus endeth the lesson. Belshazzar may not have liked what he heard, but he still rewarded Daniel. He's made the third highest officer in the kingdom. But, big deal, it was a one day job, because that night, it was all over. The king was killed, and Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians. We have moved from the head of Gold to the chest and arms of silver. But don't worry--Babylon will rise again, spreading its evil and rebellion against God throughout the world. (See Revelation for information about the future Babylon.)
And when least expected, this world will also fall under the hand of the Lord. Look around: the handwriting is on the wall. Dr. Walvoord states:
"In many respects, modern civilization is much like ancient Babylon, resplendent with its monuments of architectural triumph, as secure as human hands and ingenuity could make it, and yet defenseless against the judgment of God at the proper hour. Contemporary civilization is similar to ancient Babylon, in that it has much to foster human pride, but little to provide human security. Much as Babylon fell … so the world will be overtaken by disaster, when the day of the Lord comes" 8
Belshazzar was the fourth in line from Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon was still standing. We know little of the three rulers between himself and Nebuchadnezzar. But when Nebuchadnezzar had been brought down to the level of a beast, he then gave recognition and honor to God. On the other hand, Belshazzar had fallen so low that he blasphemed against God, by abusing the vessels of the temple. And the result was not only his own death and the fall of Babylon. Where truth is available and is rejected, then comes discipline at best - and destruction at worst. This is where the world will shortly find itself.
We are reassured by the fact God is sovereign. This is why we don't have to be fearful. But God's sovereignty isn't just a comforting truth. It is a terrifying truth. The world, like Belshazzar, has no sense of history. And God will only wait so long before He will bring it to an end. But, there is another truth.
"First of all, you must understand that in the last days, scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, Where is this 'coming' he promised?' Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago, by God's word, the heavens existed and the Earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also, the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word, the present heavens and Earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the Earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
8 Walvoord, Dr. John, Daniel, Moody Press, 1971, pg. 131.
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