Sabbath School Summary
From Arrogance to Destruction
Memory Text: Daniel 2:21 “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding”
SATURDAY: In the reign of king Belshazzar (Nebuchadrezzar’s grandson), God’s sacred name was profaned & desecrated. The many trying & remarkable experience of Nebuchadrezzar could not convert this earthly monarch. He honored gods instead of God & used temple vessels for sensual enjoyment (539 B.C.). History records the sad fact that Babylon fell that night at the hands of the Medo-Persian army.
SUNDAY: Belshazzar’s action brought its sure penalty. He turned God’s holy vessels into drinking utensils & God turned his mighty reign into ashes. Thus, gold was replaced with silver (Dan. 5:1-4; 1:1, 2; Rev. 17:4-6). Ancient Babylon symbolizes end-time Babylon, depicted as the vile woman who causes nationwide apostasy (Rev. 17). Unaware, Belshazzar’s reign ended. So shall it be in our days.
MONDAY: Engrossed in his desire to please self, Belshazzar invited all but God. In the hour when he least expected, judgement visited him (Dan. 5:5-8). Mimicking his grandfather (Dan. 2:2, 4:7), he invited “wise men”, enticed them with royal gifts (Esther 8:15, Gen. 41:42) to explain to him the “mysterious writing”. Yet, human wisdom failed (Isa. 29:14; 1 Cor. 1:20, 21, Ps. 96:5, Col. 1:15-17).
TUESDAY: Confused as her name, Babylon (means “confusion”) could only find solace in Daniel, a man possessed with the Spirit of God. It was a heathen queen who testified of Daniel to the puzzled king (Dan. 5:9-12). If Belshazzar had studied the chronicles of the kingdom, he would have learnt where to turn to in time of crisis—Daniel. Daniel might have been ignored because of his old age or God (Dan. 8:1, 27).
WEDNESDAY: God is an Unseen Watcher & the Searcher of Hearts. He knows our ways & our every thought. After mercy & grace run out, Belshazzar was weighed & found wanting (Dan. 5:13-28). First, he failed to learn from his grandpa, secondly, he misused God’s holy vessels, & lastly, he glorified gods. Daniel decodes the holy writ but objects the kings reward. At the gates were the Medo-Persians.
THURSDAY: Babylon was so great, but utterly was it fall. It was not long when it was besieged by the Medes & Persians. Belshazzar was slain & Nabonidus, his father, surrendered to the new rulers according to history. Herodotus pens that, the Persians dug a canal & diverted the Euphrates River into the city. Thus, the city falls without a battle. Daniel accepts the kings reward after interpretation (Dan. 5:29-31, Rev. 14:8, 16:19, 18:2).
FRIDAY: Judgement knocked at his door when he least perceived it. God the Heavenly Witness had weighed Belshazzar & found him wanting. The splendor of Babylon, its fortified gates, the Euphrates River at the heart of the city, & luxury blinded the king from being worried by an external attack. He calls for a feast instead of God & his armies (Dan. 5:23). Soon, Belshazzar was dethroned & slain.
—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 536.
Sexagesimal system— a system based on the number 60 in contrasts to the decimal system which based on the number 10. Belshazzar praises 6 gods in Daniel 5:4 to depict the totality of Babylonian deities. Babylonians used the sexagesimal system.
SUNDAY- Belshazzar’s Feast
MONDAY- An Uninvited Guest
TUESDAY- Enter the Queen
WEDNESDAY- Weighed And Found Wanting
THURSDAY- The Fall Of Babylon
In class, discuss the answer to Sunday’s question about the ways in which society and culture profane the truth of God. What are these ways, and how should we as a church and as individuals respond to those profanations?
What does this story teach us about how salvation is not so much about what we know but about how we respond to what we know? (See Dan. 5:22.)
Read Daniel 5:23. What important spiritual principles are found in this verse? For example, how does the text warn us against defiance of God? Or, what does the text teach us about God as not only the Creator but also the Sustainer of our existence?
Even without knowing what the words mean, Belshazzar was frightened (Dan. 5:6). What does this tell us about what it means to live with a guilty conscience?
For February 1-7. Happy Sabbath.