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The king who God humbled (Daniel 5 v 5-16)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

We’ve seen Belshazzar’s act of defiance against God. Now we see the beginning of God’s act of judgment against him.

A terrified king
Read Daniel 5:5

Imagine the scene described as these words are written on the wall.

• How is Belshazzar’s reaction described?

This was a real downer on the party! What seems like a disembodied hand or fingers writing on the wall. We’re told it was near the lampstand—maybe so everyone could see clearly!
And by the end of verse 6 it's clear that the cocky king of the beginning of the chapter is not quite so confident now…

A really terrified king
Read Daniel 5:7

• What does Belshazzar do in response?
• How does he end up feeling?

The king calls the brightest and best of the country to tell him what’s going on. But no one can. And that fact scares him even more.
The proud and confident king who was mocking the God of the Jews is now reduced to a shivering wreck.

A pleading king
Read Daniel 5:10

• What advice does the queen give?
• What’s ironic about Belshazzar’s attitude to Daniel?

The queen (most likely the queen mother) remembers Daniel and his interpretation of dreams for Nebuchadnezzar.
Belshazzar pleads with him to interpret the words. But notice he is now pleading with a man who follows the very God who he was just mocking.
The king who defied God has become the king who is humbled by God.

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APPLY
• How are the events of this passage an encouragement to you as a Christian?
• How do they serve as a warning to us in our attitude to:
     • God?
     • our leaders?
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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.

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Originally published February 18, 2012.

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