“…He was given grass to eat like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until he recognized that the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind and that He sets over it whomever He wishes,” (5:21).
History tells us that Belshazzar, who is now sitting on the throne, is not the actual monarch, but the acting representative of his father, Nabonidus, the last reigning king over the Babylonian empire. And from that historical timeline, scholars deduce it had been about thirty years since Nebuchadnezzar’s time in the fields and subsequent restoration.
Belshazzar (meaning Bel protect the king!”) was the son and viceroy of Nabonidus. He is called the “son of Nebuchadnezzar” (v. 22), but the Aramaic term could also mean “grandson” or “descendent” or even “successor.” NIV Study Bible
… As he was the son of Nabonidus, a space of about thirty years must have elapsed since the event recorded in the last chapter. The Babylonian empire survived the death of Nebuchadnezzar only twenty-five years.” Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
And as God had decreed, the Babylonian empire would face its destruction. Belshazzar, raised to this lofty yet undeserved position, and smugly convinced of his own invincibility as ruler, would be killed, and Babylon would be overthrown by the “breast and arms of silver,” the Medo-Persian Empire, as God had revealed in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
“The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver… 37 You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; 38 …You are the head of gold. 39 After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you…” (Daniel 2:32, 37-39).
That same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. 31 So Darius the Mede received the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two, (5:30-31).
I was reminded that this chapter, written in Aramaic, would reveal God’s heart towards the nations, arranging this record of history so that all would know He Is the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind, Yesterday and Today, and Forever.
And this time, God sent His message, not through a prophet speaking His Perfect Words, not in a dream or vision revealing His Powerful Works, but in writing, revealing His Pending Wrath. And once again there is none among the pagan Chaldeans who were able to interpret the writing, and thus they sent for Daniel.
God’s faithful servant, who could not be bought, would hold nothing back as he explained the truth of Him, the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind, in the past, the present, and the future.
“Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Keep your gifts for yourself or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him, (5:17).
Consider Him, the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind, Yesterday and Today and Forever.
- He the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind Who grants sovereignty, grandeur, glory and majesty to whom He Wills, Yesterday and Today and Forever.
- “O king, the Most High God granted sovereignty, grandeur, glory and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your father. 19 Because of the grandeur which He bestowed on him, all the peoples, nations and men of every language feared and trembled before him; whomever he wished he killed and whomever he wished he spared alive; and whomever he wished he elevated and whomever he wished he humbled,” (5:18-19).
- He the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind Who causes every ruler to recognize His Rule, Yesterday and Today and Forever.
- “ But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit became so proud that he behaved arrogantly, he was deposed from his royal throne and his glory was taken away from him. 21 He was also driven away from mankind, and his heart was made like that of beasts, and his dwelling place was with the wild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until he recognized that the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind and that He sets over it whomever He wishes,’ (5:20-21).
- He the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind Who humbles those who exalt themselves, Yesterday and Today and Forever.
- “Yet you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this, 23 but you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines have been drinking wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which do not see, hear or understand. But the God in whose hand are your life-breath and all your ways, you have not glorified,” (5:22-23).
- He the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind Who numbers the days of every ruler, Yesterday and Today, and Forever.
- “Then the hand was sent from Him and this inscription was written out. 25 “Now this is the inscription that was written out: ‘MENĒ, MENĒ, TEKĒL, UPHARSIN.’ 26 This is the interpretation of the message: ‘MENĒ’—God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. 27 ‘TEKĒL’—you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient. 28 ‘PERĒS’—your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians,” (5:24-28).
- He the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind Who determines the duration of kingdoms and kings, Yesterday and Today and Forever.
- That same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. 31 So Darius the Mede received the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two, (5:30).
How do we respond to Him, the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind, Yesterday and Today, and Forever?
God has graciously provided His God-Breathed Word because it is so critically important that we know and understand History, that we study His Story, the Story of the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind, Yesterday and Today, and Forever.
As we learn of His Ways in the past, we will be strengthened to live by faith and obedience in the present, and to build our lives on His promises for tomorrow, for He has not changed; He Is the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind, Yesterday and Today and Forever.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever, (Hebrews 13:8).
And while much in the world today seems caged in chaos, and many in authority smugly shake their fist at the Most High God, let us not become anxious. Let us learn from His Story; He is the Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind, and He alone grants authority to whom He Wills.
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God, (Romans 13:1).
And truly the day is coming when every ruler and every knee will bow before Him, the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind. Oh, let us rest in Him as we daily choose to live in humble submission and obedience until that day.
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, (Philippians 2:10-11).
Let us humble ourselves as we seek to follow Him, the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind, that we would devote ourselves to serving Him Who is Worthy as we serve others.
Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted, (Matthew 23:10-12).
He Is the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind Who numbers the days of every ruler, Yesterday and Today and Forever. As we acknowledge it is only His unmerited and undeserved favor and grace that has brought us to salvation, let us ask Him to grow His heart in us for others; for He desires all to be saved. Oh, let us commit to pray for those in authority that they too would come to the knowledge of the truth.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, (1 Timothy 2:1-4
Until He comes again, let us live in bold confidence that He alone determines the duration of kingdoms and kings, trusting His sovereign plan for the day when all other kingdoms will cease, and those who belong to Him though faith will be brought to live in His glorious Kingdom with Him, the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind, Forever and ever!
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever,” (Revelation 11:15).
And last, but certainly not least, may we never get over His amazing grace that has called us and adopted us to become children of Him, the Most High God, Ruler Over the Realm of Mankind, Yesterday and Today and Forever. How can we not respond in awe, reverence, holy fear and unceasing gratitude? Oh, that we would live to honor and glorify Him Today and Forever and Ever.
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen, (1 Timothy 1:17).