Intro. Belshazzar's great feast for a thousand of his lords. Under the influence of his wine he ordered the gold and silver vessels to be brought that had been removed from the Temple in Jerusalem, that they might drink their wine from these sacred vessels. As they drank from these vessels, he praised the gods of gold and silver, when suddenly their appeared a hand that wrote on the plastered wall a cryptic message in four strange words. When none of his wise men were able to decipher message Daniel was called for.
I. MENE, "GOD HAS NUMBERED YOUR KINGDOM AND FINISHED IT.
A. Your days are numbered and its all over for you. Sort of, "It's curtains, man."
1. God has allotted each of us so many days.
a. There will come for each of us that last day that God has allotted for us on this earth.
b. That day when God will say, "Your pilgrimage on earth is over."
2. A person in their youth seems to have a sense of immortality.
a. Very little thought is given to death.
b. It always seems that you have your whole life before you.
c. It is not until a person reaches their forties that they begin to realize that they have hit the half-way mark, and they begin to look at life seriously.
1. This is the time that a lot of career changes are considered.
2. You ask, "Do I want this all of my life?"
3. You are still looking ahead.
d. It is not until you get into your late 60's that you start looking back.
1. At this point many of your high school friends are already gone.
2. You begin to realize your frailty.
3. You begin to think before you jump over the wall.
4. You realize that you are not as agile as you once were, if fact you begin to feel a little fragile.
3. In his later years Moses prayed, "Teach us to number our days that we might apply our hearts unto wisdom."
a. I may have only 3500 days left, maybe even less, so help me to use them wisely.
b. The clock is ticking for each of us.
II. TEKEL, "YOU HAVE BEEN WEIGHED IN THE BALANCES."
A. The balances are the symbol of justice. The thought usually is the balance between the good and evil done in your life. The right is balanced with the wrong.
B. These were the things on the scale that doomed Belshazzar.
1. He knew the power of God.
a. He knew of the experience his grandfather Nebuchadnezzer had of insanity for seven years. He knew the proclamation that his grandfather made when he regained his sanity, how he extolled the King of heaven.
b. He knew that the vessels of gold and silver had been dedicated to that God his grandfather had extolled.
2. While he was blaspheming God, he was praising insensate gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone.
a. These gods could neither hear, see, or know.
3. The true God in whose hand his very breath was, he had not glorified.
a. You depend upon God for your very breath. He is the one who sustains your life, and determines your days.
b. Our lungs as our heart is one of the involuntary muscles of our bodies.
1. We have voluntary and involuntary muscles. The voluntary muscles are attached to the skeleton of your body and are controlled consciously by the brain.
2. The involuntary muscles are not attached to the skeleton and are not controlled consciously by the brain.
3. Those muscles that are vital for continuation of life, God has left under His control. You do not have to think to make your heart tick, nor think "I had better breathe now."
4. God has designed these muscles to function automatically.
c. At the very moment, the kings breath was fouled with the smell of wine. He used his fouled breath to curse the true and living God, upon whom he depended for his breath, at the same time he praised the gods of gold and silver, iron and stone, who did not breathe.
C. Your life is being weighed in the balances. Does God declare of of you, "It is found wanting."?
D. The mistake that man often makes is that he thinks that His good is being balanced by his evil. This is what is being weighed in the scales.
1. This is the mistake that the Jews make today on Yom Kippur.
2. Most people have been deceived into thinking this.
3. They protest that they try to do good things. They try to live an honest decent life.
4. It might be well for you to remember the words of Jesus to His disciples, "Except your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven.
E. The truth of the matter is that there are two sets of scales, the one that balances your good against your evil, and the other that balances your righteousness against the righteousness of Jesus.
1. You protest, "That isn't fair, He was the Son of God."
2. Fair or not is not a judgment that you are privileged to make. That is the way it is.
3. God has declared the righteousness that is essential to grant you entrance into heaven. He does not want any polluting influence to defile the absolute purity there.
4. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would testify of righteousness because I ascend unto My Father. His ascension into heaven, was a declaration from God, that here is the righteousness that I will accept.
5. You protest, "But no one can be that good." and you are absolutely right.
6. That is the very reason that God made provision to impute to you the righteousness of Jesus Christ by your simple faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
7. God will account your faith in Jesus Christ for righteousness.
8. Paul the apostle was one of the Pharisees that was struggling hard to attain a righteousness by the works of the law. Keeping the rules. One day on the road to Damascus, he met the Savior Jesus, and surrendered to Him as his Lord. Later he wrote concerning the righteousness that he had been seeking under the law, "Those things that were gain for me (The things that I was putting on the scales.) I counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and do count them as refuse, that I may know Him and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but the righteousness which is by Christ through faith."
D. As you are being balanced on the scales, what are you putting on your side as a counter balance to your evil?
E. What a glorious thing that God puts on my side of the scales, the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That totally outweighs all of the sin that I had loaded on the other side of the balances.
III. PERES, YOUR KINGDOM IS DIVIDED AND GIVEN TO THE MEDES AND THE PERSIANS.
A. In verse 30 we read "And that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain and Darius the Mede took the kingdom."
B. That was the end of the road for Belshazzar, and his kingdom.
C. One day your name will appear in the obituary column, will it be said by God, "He was found wanting"?
D. Jesus spoke of a rich man who prospered abundantly, until he said, I am so rich I have no room to store up my wealth, what shall I do? He said, I will tear down my old storehouses, and build larger, but the Lord said to him, "You fool, this night your soul will be required of you, and then who shall possess your riches?"
1. You may plan for your future, but if you do not include God in those plans, you are a fool.