Lent 2016: Trusting God In a World That Doesn’t – Part 4

The Writing on the Wall Daniel 5:1-31 March 6th, 2016


I. The short STORY of BELSHAZZER. (v.1-31)
A. The PRESENT is a PARTY. (v.1-4)
B. The PAST has been FORGOTTEN. (v.5-25)
C. The FUTURE isnt PRETTY. (v.26-31)

Daniel chapter 5 introduces us to a new King. After Nebuchadnezzar died a king
named Nabonidus takes over. He spends a large time of his rule away from the capital
city and installs his son, Belshazzar, to rule in his place. Belshazzar has a brief but
tragic portion in the book of Daniel. But we can learn from his mistakes.

1. Belshazzar throws a party that districts him from what is really going on. What are
the distractions that you are drawn to you in your own life?
2. How God has been faithful in your past? Take some time to list (or share) these with
your group.
3. What are you afraid of right now regarding your future?

II. Methods of the KINGDOMS of the WORLD.
A. OVERESTIMATE their own ABILITY. (v.1-4)
B. Motivate through STATUS, WEALTH, and POWER. (v.16)
C. Dont see the WRITING on the WALL. (v.29-31)

Once again we see that a major theme in Daniel is the contrast between the kingdoms
of the world and the Kingdom of God. Belshazzar is well versed in how worldly
kingdoms operate. He knows what to do. But unknown to him, at least until the night in
question, is the reality of the Kingdom of God and the implications for others who seek
dominion against it.

4. When have you overestimated your own ability to deal with or resolve a situation?
How did that turn out? What did you learn?
5. What motivates you? How do you seek to motivate others?
6. When have you had a writing on the wall type of experience that pointed out a
difficult truth to you?

III. Daniels LESSONS for LENT. (Rom. 12:1-2)
A. Gods KINGDOM is REALITY. (v.26-28; 2:44-45; Mt. 28:18)
B. Judgment is the TRUTH coming TRUE. (v.22-31; I Cor. 15:54-55)
C. It PRESENTS itself in WEAKNESS. (v.1,13; Is. 53:2-3)
D. It OVERFLOWS where we are LACKING. (v. 27; Is 53:4-5)
E. It CALLS us to SURRENDER. (v.20-23; Is. 53:6)

The season of Lent is designed to slow us down and allow us time and space to reflect
on areas where our lives have become enmeshed with the patterns and methods of the
world around us. Daniel reminds us of some Lenten themes that we need to allow to
form the foundations of our thinking and as a result, shape the way we live from day to

7. Jeff said that Judgment is the truth coming true. Do you agree with that idea? How
does that relate to the way you have understood judgment in the past?
8. How does our world view weakness? How does God view it? What are the
implications of that for our day to day lives?
9. When have to realized your lack? Has that been accompanied by a sense of
Gods sufficiency in your life?
10.Where is God calling you to surrender to Him as the only One who has dominion?
How might that look this week?