We continue this week to study our Big God and His relationship to Belshazzar in Daniel 5:19-22. God shows to the king ‘He Is The God Of Retribution’. I have studied two truths thus far under this heading, ‘The Lawlessness Of Rebellion’ and ‘The Looking For Reaping’.
Let us look today at ‘The Lord Of Remembrance’. Daniel has been called to read the writing on the wall. I am amazed at how God will cross His T’s and dot His I’s. He shuts the mouths of sinners and leaves them without excuse. He will never send men to Hell without excuse. Instead of telling the interpretation of the writing Daniel tells the king, ‘you know all about your Daddy but you humbled not your heart before the Lord’. (5:22) It seems to me that humility of heart is not something that man can do of his own free will, but it is a divine act of the sovereign God.
I find in this section that Daniel reminds the king of three great truths about the Lord. The first one Daniel tells him is ‘You Know That He Is The God That Abases’. In Daniel 4:37 after his seven-year separation from the God of Heaven, his father shares with all, the greatest lessons he learned. Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Those who walk in pride, God is able to abase.’ The word ‘abase’ means to humble, to put down or subdue. In reminding the king of his father’s message, Daniel is asking the king; didn’t you listen to what your father said? Oh, how often we do not earn from others mistakes. We think we can go down the same road as they and not suffer similar consequences. Let me remind us that we cannot take the fire of sin into our bosom and not be burned.
I find also that Daniel reminds the king of the fact ‘You Know He Is The God Who Makes Aware’. The word, ‘knewest’ means to cause one to recognize and know with certainty. Your father made you aware of all. You even heard the story of the stone rolling down and tearing an empire apart, but yet you humbled not your heart. I wonder how many will go to Hell from the pews of churches with full knowledge in their heads of what God requires from a man to go to Heaven.
In verses 23-30 Daniel tells the king, ‘You Know He Is The God Who Will Abandon’. You gave all your praise to the gods of silver and gold. You gave no praise to the God of Heaven who has your very breathe in His hand.
It is now that Daniel begins to read the words on the wall. In verse 26 the first phrase says, ‘O King your kingdom is finished’. In verse 27 the phrase says, ‘King, you think you have it all but you have nothing.’ The phrase of verse 28 says,’ Your kingdom will be divided.’ A kingdom divided cannot stand. In verse 30, a very short time later, the king is killed and stands face to face with the God of retribution and may have gone to Hell with his clothes on. Retribution is a punishment suitable for the actions one has done. Let us be aware in our story that the stone of God is rolling on.