Book of Daniel help us understand
How we should live in a pagan land as we trust and wait for God to act?
Reminder—we like Daniel are resident aliens
Therefore—we need shrewd integrity
In order to—maintain purity without isolation, but seeking to excel—as God enables—to influence
All done by—trusting God
We like Daniel are resident aliens, therefore we need shrewd integrity, in order to maintain purity without isolation, but seeking to excel as God enables, for the purpose of influence others for God’s glory. This will require deep abiding trust in God.
God is sovereign over all the affairs of history but requires His people to walk faithfully
With prudence (wisdom and shrewdness) and prayer not panic in order to bring God glory
Daniel shows us wisdom and dependence on God,
by focusing others on God not himself
along with the value of like-minded companions when difficulties arise
and the willingness to leverage personal blessing for benefit of others
We continue to learn how to respond to God’s sovereignty even in difficult circumstances. Daniel's three friends demonstrated belief in the power of God, declared their faith even if God did not rescue them.
Nebuchadnezzar learns about the birds and the bees
The first four chapters of Daniel tell a story of the God who is in control. Progressively King Nebuchadnezzar came to learn about the God of Israel and to acknowledge His superiority over the gods of Babylon
We must learn that God controls the events of history and desires that we recognize His sovereign control by humbly submitting to Him.
We must learn that the process of an individual coming to Christ takes time, patience and loving expression of the truth of God to see that individual recognize God.
Belshazzar is very confident in the physical defenses of his city. So much so that he threw an elaborate party for his nobles—perhaps to reassure them, to instill loyalty, or simply to flaunt his kingdom.
Daniel 4, a parallel chapter, and this chapter both deal with God’s control over proud pagan kings.
Small Group Questions
Engage—connect with each other
1. If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?
2. How do you deal with the unknown—future?
3. What is one goal (main goal) you’d like to accomplish during your lifetime?
Encounter—read God’s Word to get to know Him
4. As you read through the story in Daniel 5, keep asking—what character traits does God reveal? Notice where God “appears” in the story.
Examine and Explore—what the passage says before you decide what it means, then begin to discuss the implications of this passage
5. When confronted with the mysterious hand writing on the wall—Belshazzar is terrified. The queen (-mother) encourages him to call for Daniel. Daniel starts by giving Belshazzar a sermon. What are the key elements of Daniel’s sermon (Daniel 5:18-23)?
6. The interpretation Daniel gives is a prophecy that will be fulfilled that very night. But it is also a beginning to the fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel 2 (and also of Isaiah 13:17-22; 21:1-10 and Jeremiah 51:33-58). How does the short-term fulfillment (Daniel 5:28, 30), the first step fulfillment (Daniel 2), encourage you about your own unknown future?
Embrace—What is the one thing you need to know or do? What is your next step in response to this passage?
7. God again demonstrates His control over kings and kingdoms and that His plan will not be thwarted. How does this encourage you? How does this challenge you?
8. In light of this story, we should respond with humility and submission to God in contrast to Belshazzar. But beyond that, how should the reality of God’s control over history challenge our actions and attitudes, priorities and personal contacts—this week?