Daniel 5 & Psalm 110-111

Daniel 5

    King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.

    Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

    Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. Then the king's color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Then all the king's wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, and his color changed, and his lords were perplexed.

    The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, “O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you or your color change. There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers, because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”

    Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, “You are that Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah. I have heard of you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not show the interpretation of the matter. But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

    Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.

    “Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

    Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

    That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed.  And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

(Daniel 5 ESV)


Psalm 110

A Psalm of David.

    The LORD says to my Lord:
        “Sit at my right hand,
    until I make your enemies your footstool.”
    
    
    The LORD sends forth from Zion
        your mighty scepter.
        Rule in the midst of your enemies!
    Your people will offer themselves freely
        on the day of your power,
        in holy garments;
    from the womb of the morning,
        the dew of your youth will be yours.
    The LORD has sworn
        and will not change his mind,
    “You are a priest forever
        after the order of Melchizedek.”
    
    
    The Lord is at your right hand;
        he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
    He will execute judgment among the nations,
        filling them with corpses;
    he will shatter chiefs
        over the wide earth.
    He will drink from the brook by the way;
        therefore he will lift up his head.

(Psalm 110 ESV)


Psalm 111

     Praise the LORD!
    I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart,
        in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
    Great are the works of the LORD,
        studied by all who delight in them.
    Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
        and his righteousness endures forever.
    He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
        the LORD is gracious and merciful.
    He provides food for those who fear him;
        he remembers his covenant forever.
    He has shown his people the power of his works,
        in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
    The works of his hands are faithful and just;
        all his precepts are trustworthy;
    they are established forever and ever,
        to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
    He sent redemption to his people;
        he has commanded his covenant forever.
        Holy and awesome is his name!
    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
        all those who practice it have a good understanding.
        His praise endures forever!

(Psalm 111 ESV)

Savior, Priest and King

 

The theme of Psalm 110 deals with the role and reign of David’s offspring throughout the history of God’s people. This Psalm in particular looks forward to One who would come as the ultimate King over all the kings of the earth. The One who would sit upon His throne at the right hand of the Lord establishing His Kingdom through the work of His people who are empowered by the Holy Spirit. 

How often do we fix our minds on the meekness of Christ and yet forget His majesty and mighty power as King of kings and Lord of lords? How often do we cling to His work on the cross but seemingly ignore the authority of His crown? 

Christ reigns in sovereign power. His enemies are nothing more than His footstool, but His people are to be His hands and feet. Are we willing to “offer ourselves freely” into His special services and kingdom commissions? 

Christ is the King and High Priest after the order of Melchizedek whose name means 'king of righteousness', and his title means 'king of peace’. Christ is the One who has granted us righteousness from God and given us peace with God. Are we willing to serve Him in love because He has first served us?

And Christ will one day execute judgement “shattering kings on the day of his wrath” and bringing misery upon His enemies while bringing everlasting joy for His people. Do we have a healthy fear of judgement? "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and all those who practice it have a good understanding" (Psalm 111). Therefore, are we willing to turn from our self-governing lifestyle and submit to Him as our great Savior, Priest and King?