“You are his successor, O Belshazzar, and you knew all this, yet you have not humbled yourself. For you have proudly defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you. You and your nobles and your wives and concubines have been drinking wine from them while praising gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone—gods that neither see nor hear nor know anything at all. But you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny! So God has sent this hand to write this message.” Daniel 5:22-24
Daniel did not pull any punches; he told the king that he had not humbled his heart. The king was not just drinking wine from golden vessels, he was rebelling against God. This was a message of judgment from God and it would be carried out in exactness.
Everything Belshazzar owned came from God. Instead of worshiping the living God out of gratitude for His gifts, Belshazzar worshiped inanimate idols made of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not hear or see or know. Belshazzar chose to worship dead images instead of the true God of heaven “For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being.” (Job 12:10).
The charges against Belshazzar became more serious: now Daniel moved on to blasphemy. Belshazzar had dishonored and demeaned the God of heaven by taking precious implements created for His worship and desecrating them with the worst kinds of sinful indulgence. It was a brazen display of impiety and contempt.
History is a superb teacher, but Belshazzar failed as a student. He knew the history of Nebuchadnezzar’s pride and God’s subsequent judgment, but he failed to learn from it. He had witnessed in person Nebuchadnezzar’s humiliation, and he still refused to humble himself under the hand of the almighty God. This was not a case of ignorance; it was arrogant defiance. It matters what we know, and it matters how we respond.