Lessons From Belshazzar’s Fall

“Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem…They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and of silver, of bronze, of iron, of wood, and of stone.”

— Daniel 5:3-4

The grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar was the king who held a great pagan feast, using the goblets stolen from the Jewish Temple some decades before. Belshazzar went white when he saw God’s literal handwriting on the wall
against him.

Now that story of Belshazzar the king and the astounding events of that night of his great feast have lessons which are as fresh today as they were when they were first given:

  1. Here is a picture of the foolishness of those who trust in merely the things of this world. How foolish was Belshazzar to trust in the impregnable walls of Babylon—the walls that were so easily breached by diverting the river
  2. It reminds us that those who will not study history are doomed to repeat it. Belshazzar had a tremendous lesson from his grandfather of humbling oneself before God. Nonetheless, Belshazzar went on his way to his
    unexpected destruction.
  3. Belshazzar’s sin was not just drunkenness and debauchery, but the superabounding sin of impiety and blasphemy.

Lord, God of history, teach us to heed those who have gone before us and give us the strength to live a godly life in the midst of a blasphemous people. Help us to remember that all who mock Your name and flaunt their sin in Your face will be called to account and that it is Your people who will triumph…