- Let’s celebrate!. Shouldn’t memories of King Nebuchadnezzar stir Belshazzar, who is now in charge of the country, to show signs of divinity touching humanity in his heart? Instead, what do we see in Belshazzar? What does he see as the most important event he can stage?
- Belshazzar’s feast. What is important about the drinking utensils he chooses for drinks at the party? How does the king turn this part of the celebration into a testimony to his gods? What gods does he honor? How do the six gods represent Babylon at its fullest? The drink offered in these once-holy vessels is polluted in what way? Is there a “modern Babylon” in our world today? If so, what can you see around you that profanes the truth of God’s Word, even to the point of turning sacred liquid into junk? Or poison?
- An uninvited guest. Imagine the surprise Belshazzar felt when he saw life-like fingers of a hand writing on the plastered wall. With the knocking of his knees together and his feet trembling mightily, the king frghtened those who saw him, but none more so than Belshazzar himself. Even though written in his native language, the words didn’t male sense to Belshazzar.
- Enter the queen. Isn’t it true that sometimes women act more intelligently than men? After glancing at the words on the wall, the queen goes straight to Belshazzar and tells him what to do to learn the meaning of the message. What is it that she tells the king he must do? How does she manage to be so successful in explaining why he should follow Daniel? Why didn’t Belshazzar think of Danial on his own?
- Weighed and found wanting. Imagine the “shock and awe” Belshazzar feels when he goes to Daniel for advice. Daniel has a short explanation for the end of Belshazzar’s life, and the king hears of his failure in dealing with the Hebrew God. Can you interpret the vision of a handwriting on the wall? What do you think of Belshazzar’s apparent inability to seek the God who had shown His leadership of His people?
- The Fall of Babylon. Why does the king offer an assortment of gifts to Daniel, and why does Daniel accept them? Or does he? How is it possible for the city of Babylon to fall so soon without a battle? How does Belshazzar react to the news the he is about to die? How did the city fall? Why did it fall? What lessons can the Fall of Babylon have for us living in this troubled time?