The End and the Beginning

Daniel 5:13–6:9 (NKJV)

13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke, and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the captives from Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? 14 I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. 15 Now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not give the interpretation of the thing. 16 And I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations and explain enigmas. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

17 Then Daniel answered, and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation. 18 O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor. 19 And because of the majesty that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he executed; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down. 20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. 21 Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.

Belshazzar summons Daniel and offers him great gifts and status if he will interpret the writing.  Daniel tells him to keep his gifts and status, but that he will interpret the dream.  However, He reminded him  first that his father was given great power by God, but He did not honor God, so he was driven into the wilderness as a judgment.  When he came back, he honored God and was restored.  Belshazzar, however, had not yet honored God.

22 “But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. 23 And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified. 24 Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.

25 “And this is the inscription that was written:

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN

26 This is the interpretation of each word. Mene: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 Tekel: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 Peres: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” 29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. 31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

Daniel continued relating how Belshazzar’s actions disrespected the true God, and then gave the writing and its interpretation.  The three words said that God had numbered his kingdom, and finished it.  Belshazzar’s kingdom had been weighed and found lacking.  Belshazzar’s kindomg had been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.  Even though the interpretation was ominous and negative, Belshazzar feted Daniel in spite of his protests.  That night, Belshazzar was killed and the kingdom fell to Darius the Mede.

6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”

So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.

The new king, Darius, appointed many leaders, including three main leaders (one of whom was Daniel).  Daniel distinguished himself above all others, causing widespread jealousy among the other leaders.  They sought to bring harm to Daniel by tricking King Darius into signing a decree prohibiting anyone from praying to any god except King Darius for 30 days.  They knew Daniel would pray, regardless.  The punishment would be being thrown into a den of lions.

When you serve God, and when you work hard, promotion comes.  When promotion comes, those who do not serve God or understand His ways, can become jealous of others’ success.  They may even plot against you, seeking to cause you harm or to derail your path.  Do not fear.  Keep serving God and He will continue to give you favor.  Don’t let the naysayers get in your way!

One thought on “The End and the Beginning

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  1. I enjoyed reading this. It’s a good lesson. Seems like the closer you try to get with God. The harder the devil trys to keep you away.

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