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Lesson # Dan. 5:29-31
Study Material - Dan. 5:29-31
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
29 Then Belshazzar gave orders, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a necklace of gold around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he now had authority as the third ruler in the kingdom. 30 That same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. 31 So Darius the Mede received the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two.
One would think that when Belshazzar heard the news of his fate and the fate of the empire, he would react somewhat differently. Perhaps fearful, perhaps repentant, maybe even angry at the explanation and an attempt to get rid of Daniel, but none of these.
Belshazzar is recorded here fulfilling his promise or reward, even to Daniel, one of the exile captives from Judah. Probably there are a lot of emotions that were manifested at the time, but the book of Daniel records this reaction by Belshazzar. Look at the sequence.
The defeat in battle, the feast, the writing, the explanation, the reward, the judgment (Belshazzar's death). Belshazzar's attitude did change, but not to that which would be acceptable by God. He changed into a do gooder. He kept his 'promise.' People sometimes think that if they would just do good things, then God will accept them, or at least society will think kindly of them and that somehow that will be sufficient to get them a better deal in life, or even in eternity. Not so.
There is only one way to salvation. Being nice will not get you into heaven. Faith in Christ is the only door into heaven. There is only one way to spiritual growth and maturity, and consequently blessings from God, and again, being a nice person will not get you there. Why? Because the concept of being a nice person (apart from any influence from Bible doctrine) is a false concept. It just does not exist. The soul is shaped by either Bible doctrine or by the philosophies of the world. Spiritual growth emphasizes knowledge in Bible doctrine. Carnality (that concept we often call being negative toward God) emphasizes worldly knowledge.
Belshazzar should have changed his attitude toward God and repented appropriately. That is he should have expressed his sins (if he was a believer), or believed in God (if he was an unbeliever), and expressed a deep desire to get with a program of scripture learning. Which of course he did not do.
Other bits of information come from history. Cyrus' generals Gadatas and Gobryas stormed the city after Cyrus' army had drained or diverted a substantial portion of the Euphrates river waters away from their normal course and to an nearby lake. Cyrus had an army in siege around Babylon. Some to the north of the city and some to the south of the city. His army dug a canal from the river to a nearby lake thus diverting the river. Once the water level had receded to below the level of the city walls, the army stormed into the city, taking it completely by surprise. This is the night that, that event took place. The city was asleep mentally. You know that the canal digging had to have taken a long time to dig (months), yet no one was watching the digging process. The city was partying. The guards at the gate were drunk and easily overcome, and that night Belshazzar died.
The empire was divided between the Medes and the Persians. Darius was to oversee the rule of this portion of the empire, as so stated in verse 31. The Mede portion of the split empire was to the west, and the Persian portion stretched eastward to India.
There is no replacement, no substitute for Bible doctrine in our life. And certainly we all have activities in our lives that differ dramatically from person to person. Some of us change diapers. Some of us invent rockets. Some drive trucks, dig ditches, perform surgery, push paper, play in sports, etc., etc. What you do in life makes no difference. As long as you place Bible study first on your daily activity list, and always on your daily activity list, as long as you reside in fellowship, as long as you study, and apply what you learn to your daily life, and consequently grow up spiritually, then whatever you do in life will become a blessing and blessed to yourself and to those around you. You just cruise through life until God calls you home.
In the mean time here on earth, we 'hew-mons' will encounter many situations in life. We will have screw ups, and we will have successes. We will face challenges and tough decisions, and we will have some good times as well. But in it all, if we place our faith in God, and our lives in His hands, He will show each one of us individually and personally how dramatically and effectively he can guide our lives through life.
Sometimes we just don't see this until we have time under our belt and have the opportunity to look back on our lives to see the hand of God in our life. Then, cautiously, we begin to look forward in life and begin to trust in Him a little more each day, placing less importance on the things of life, and more importance on our getting to know Gods Word. And that is when life becomes really great.
But just as things look really great a major challenge sometimes comes our way as we will see in the next chapter. Daniel is on top of the world, high in power, but that does not protect him from unscrupulous people and the hand of the jungle.
Just as good deeds cannot protect you, as it did not protect Belshazzar, so too the jungle cannot protect you from the inevitable jungle laws. Everyone is vulnerable and a potential victim. But too, God is greater. If you stand firm in your resolve in Gods Word, and do not get upset when the world comes down on your head (don't start whining, don't start blaming others, don't start with the excuses, don't get irresponsible, self pity, etc.) then God will show you 'great and mighty things'. You might even think that you are the only one who observes the great blessings that God does for you individually, but rest assured, there are many witnessing angels cheering you on, and when you reach a victory point in your life based on trust in God, then the angels cheer wildly. If only we could hear the roar! But then I suppose they grab their heads in disgust when we screw up too!!! Oh, well.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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