Explore God's Word Daily

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History lesson (Daniel 5 v 17-24)

We’ve seen the defiant king humbled. Now Daniel gives him a history lesson.

The lesson of the past
Read Daniel 5:17

• What does Daniel say Nebuchadnezzar was given by God (v 17-19)?
• What then happened to Nebuchadnezzar’s heart (v 20)?
• How did God teach him to acknowledge Him (v 20-21)?

These verses are a summary of all we looked at in chapter 4. Nebuchadnezzar was indeed a great and powerful king, but only because of God. And then he became proud and was taught by God to acknowledge that God was sovereign. He
learned humility and right respect for God.

The lesson not learned
Read Daniel 5:22

• Belshazzar knew what had happened to Nebuchadnezzar: what should that have taught him (v 22)?
• What did he do instead (v 23)?
• How would you sum up Belshazzar’s mistake?

Belshazzar had all the knowledge and evidence he needed. He knew all about the pride and subsequent humbling of Nebuchadnezzar. You would have thought that story would have kept him humble towards, or at least vaguely respectful of, this God.
But for some reason Belshazzar didn’t think that applied to him; he thought he was bigger than that.

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TIME OUT
• In what ways do people think of themselves as beyond God’s judgment?
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It's easy to be a Belshazzar in our thinking today. In a world where we can travel further, communicate faster, understand more and live longer than ever before— we don't need to look to and rely on God, do we? We're self-made men and women, aren’t we?!
The answer in Daniel 5 is: “Yes, we do” and “No, we’re not”. We need to learn, and keep re-learning, the lesson Nebuchadnezzar was taught, and Belshazzar ignored. God matters. And we are never beyond His watch and His power.

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APPLY
In what ways do you need to re-learn lessons of humbling yourself before God?
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore57 when you check out to get the current quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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