15 Lessons to learn from Daniel Chapter 5

15 Lessons to learn from Daniel Chapter 5

Having time to read through the chapters of the Book of Daniel is like spending time watching your favourite blockbuster movie or reading your favourite storybook. The Book of Daniel is full of many intriguing stories and full of lessons to learn that can be applied in one’s life. The 12 chapter book demonstrates and reveals the sovereignty of God over situations, His power to save and the supernatural abilities given to men to see and do the impossible. As I read through Daniel 5, I have caught 15 lessons to learn from Daniel Chapter 5 and I will be glad to share these 15 lessons to learn from Daniel Chapter 5 with you.

15 Lessons to learn from Daniel Chapter 5

1. Do not use consecrated things for the wrong purpose – 5:2

Whenever consecrated things dedicated for the LORD’S use find themselves in the wrong environment, abuse becomes inevitable. In Daniel 1:1-2, the Lord delivered King Johiakim into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar and he besieged it. Consequently, Nebuchadnezzar took his captives together with some of the golden articles he had taken from the temple of the Lord. He put those treasures and golden articles in the temple of his god. While Belshazzer, his son was feasting with his nobles and concubines, he ordered for the gold items his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple to be brought to him. Unfortunately, a hand began to write on the wall while feasting. Using consecrated things for just any purpose is like defiling the name of God. It is a sign of total disrespect and dishonour onto the LORD.

2. You cannot use the things of God to praise other smaller gods


King Belshazzar walked in the ways of his father, Nebuchadnezzar. His father was fond of praising and exalting his gods until he was humbled by God. Despite all that King Nebuchadnezzar went through before becoming humble, Belshazzar his son failed to learn from his father’s mistakes. He went ahead to use the articles designated to be used in the Lord’s temple. In Daniel 5.4, the the Bible said “As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.

The LORD Himself declared in Haggai 2:8 that “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts”. It is a sign of gross disrespect and dishonour to use the things created and dedicated for God to praise other gods. King Belshazzar and his nobles erred to use the consecrated things of God for his personal use and to praise other smaller gods.

3. God uses different mediums to talk to people

While King Nebuchadnezzar was used to seeing hair-raising and breathtaking divine dreams, his son did not experience same. God spoke to Nebuchadnezzar through dreams but for his son, Belshazzar, it was through a visible hand writing on the wall.  Daniel 5:5-6 says that “Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lamp stand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote.His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.

It is important to know that God is not a one-way God. Today He can decide to use method and use a different method tomorrow. Let us become receptive to the promptings and leading of the Holy Spirit in ways we do not know. One of the biggest lessons to learn in this point is that God can talk to you through any means.

4. People are specially rewarded for doing what no else can do

In Genesis 41:1-36, Joseph was rewarded for interpreting the King’s dream when no one else could do so. Daniel was also rewarded for having the ability to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2. King Belshazzar again rewarded Daniel in Daniel 5 as the third ruler in command in Babylon. King Belshazzar said to  the enchanters, astrologers and diviners “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.” Dan. 5:7

5. Never forget useful and important people in  life

Sometimes, the one who could be of great help to you in times of trouble could be very close to you. The help you are looking for could be very close and not far away. Daniel became famous during the time of King Nebuchadnezzar for his supernatural ability to interpret dreams and difficult riddles but King Belshazzar seemed to have forgotten about the one that assisted his father. Is it possible that King Belshazzar did not know about Daniel? Was he not in the same palace in Babylon when Daniel worked with his father Nebuchadnezzar and interpreted all dreams?

If you forget useful and important people in life, you are likely to suffer in critical times in life. One of the mistakes Nebuchadnezzar made was clinging to the magicians, astrologers and diviners when he had written to all people that the God of Meshack, Shadrach and Abednego are to worshiped instead of any other god. His son, King Belshazzar also clang to the same magicians, astrologers and diviners for help since their duty is to explain the unexplained and tell the mind of the gods.

6. Your special gift things open doors and your good works are marketing tools.

If you do not learn to develop your potentials, special abilities and your gift things, opportunities will expose you instead of exalting you. Nebuchadnezzar’s two dreams and the writing of the finger on the wall exposed the limits and abilities of the magicians, astrologers and the diviners. These people claim to have powers to decipher, read meanings and see beyond the natural but were handicapped when multi-complex opportunities came. However, Daniel was exalted while the magicians, the astrologers and the diviners were not promoted.  

While King Belshazzar was still terrified and being shaken, the queen said Take note of what the queen said about Daniel in 5:11-12  saying:

There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. Your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. He did this because Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.”

A talent well developed, a potential and skill nurtured and gift thing sharpened becomes a well known brand, a goodwill and strong marketing tool when opportunities are presented. Daniel’s past records became unique selling proposition and a marketing tool to stand tall among all when all experts knowledge had failed. The question, what do people say about you in times of need. Anytime people remember in particular situation, it is your abilities and special skills that make them to remember you. Until you become an expert in a particular field, your name will never crop up when opportunities and problems are arise.

7. It’s the Spirit of God that gives insight into hidden things and mysteries

One of the interesting lessons to learn in Daniel Chapter 5 is that it is the Spirit of God that gives insight and reveals all secret things and mysteries that are hidden from people. It is important to note that “All secret things belong to the LORD” (Deut. 29:29) and it takes only the Spirit of God to reveal that which is hidden to you. In Daniel Dan 5:14, King Belshazzar said to Daniel, “I have heard that the spirit of the gods is in you and that you have insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom”.

King Belshazzar has not yet known the kind of spirit backing the success of Daniel so he attributed it to the spirit of the gods. It is the Holy Spirit that gives insight, intelligence and outstanding wisdom as the King said.

8. The gifts of God are not for self glorification and money making machines

The gifts and calling of God are not for self glorification but to serve the purpose of God. In Eph. 4:11-12, the callings of God into specific offices such as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are to enhance the kingdom business to equip all members. In that same manner, the special abilities and spiritual gift things are meant to serve the purpose of God and not draw men to the self.

In Daniel 2 and 4, Daniel was rewarded by Nebuchadnezzar but this time, he rejected the reward Belshazzar wanted to give him. The focus of ministry and the use of the gifts of God should not be centered on money and the vessel being used by God. When you show interest in some monetary gifts, you may not have the courage to confront the wrong things done in the society. Daniel spoke boldly about the evil Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar had done.

It is better to say the bitter truth and be rewarded than to focus on monetary rewards and refuse to rebuke and tell the truth. In Dan 5:29, the Bible said “At the king’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple dress and proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom”.

When done reading the 15 Lessons to learn from Daniel Chapter 5, read also this article:

9. Pride always bring a fall

In life, you cannot ride on the wings of pride and expect to go far. Pride definitely brings a fall. Pride tears down and destroy people. Pride has never enhanced anyone’s image, position and activities but rather destroys it. In 1 Peter 5:5, the Bible said God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. In Daniel 5:22, Daniel said to King Belshazzar saying: “But you, Belshazzar, his son, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this”. Instead of King Belshazzar to humble himself and serve the purpose of God, he rather stood against the LORD by using the golden goblets in the temple.

10. Knowing the right thing and not doing it is a sin

The Bible clearly says that he who knows the right thing to but does not do it,  is a sin (James 4:17). King Belshazzar cannot say that he was totally ignorant and had no knowledge of God when his father suffered the consequences of not honouring God. King Belshazzar cannot say he was not aware that it was pride that made his father Nebuchadnezzar’s mind to turn into that of an animal and he lived in the wilderness for 7 years and drenched by the dew for 7 years. He knew exactly what happened to his father but Belshazzar decided to walk in the arrogance of his father. Remember that, it is counted against you as a sin if you know the right thing to do but decide not to do it.

11. Failure to learn from the mistakes of predecessors will cause you to repeat their sins and folly.

Daniel said to King Belshazzar, “You knew all these things already” Dan. 5:22b. Daniel was expecting King Belshazzar to learn from the mistakes of his father, King Nebuchadnezzar. It was pride that brought the downfall of King Nebuchadnezzar. It was his pride and the desire for self glorification and not acknowledging the sovereignty of God that led his mind to be turned into an animal for 7 years. In life, if you fail to learn from the mistakes of the fathers, you are likely to repeat same but this time in a more serious situation.  

12. God will fight those who wrongly use consecrated items for idol worship.

Anything that is consecrated in the name of the LORD belongs to the LORD. Anything that is consecrated is for the LORD’S special use but not to be desecrated by anyone. The goblets in the temple of God taken by Nebuchadnezzar were supposed to be used for the Holy purpose of the LORD. Never try to use anything that belongs to the LORD. This is one of the serious lessons from Daniel Chapter 5 one has to learn.

13. Idol worship destroy lives

Daniel told Belshazzar in Daniel 5:23b “You did not honour the LORD who holds in His hands your life and all your ways”. Failure to honour the LORD and worship him alone brings disaster. King Belshazzar followed the ways of his father who enjoyed and depended on the services of magicians, astrologers, enchanters and diviners in his kingdom. Idol worship does not enhance any life. It destroys lives and opportunities because anything you receive from the devil is evil in nature. This is one the biggest lessons from Daniel Chapter 5

14. You cannot become an enemy of God God and still remain in your position.

King Belshazzar, instead of honouring God, rather set himself against the LORD and worshipped the gods of Babylon. Daniel said to him: “You praise the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways”.  Unfortunately, King Belshazzar was killed that same night.     

Did you miss: 14 lessons to learn from Daniel 4? click on the blue link to read

15. After many parties, there’s judgement at the end.

When you scan through the Bible, there was immediate judgement or some form of disaster after most all the parties or feasts being organized in the Bible. Now, let us consider a few of these feasts or parties that did not end well with some people in the Bible.

  • Dan. 5:5 – A hand writing on the wall. King Belshazzar was murdered the following day.
  • Esther 6:1-9 – Queen Esther’s banquet and judgement on Haman and he was hanged on his pole.
  • Matt. 22:12 – The wedding guest in the wrong attire was thrown out

The lesson here is that, organizing love feasts and parties are not bad but the intentions are very important. Any gathering to feast that does not honour the LORD is likely to bring judgment and destruction on people. Be careful of the parties you organize if the intentions will not bring honour to God.

What other lessons from Daniel Chapter 5 did you learn? Which of the 15 Lessons to learn from Daniel Chapter 5 is your favourite and rings a bell?

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