Confrontational Truth: speaking God’s Truth when its not popular


The Freedom from Religion Foundation is at it again.  This same group is suing Clayton NJ because the city’s seal includes the words “A Great Place to Live, Work, Pray” with a picture of a church included in the city seal.


This time, they threatened East Liverpool High School in Ohio and demanded they end their 70 year tradition of singing the Lord’s Prayer at their graduation ceremony.


The school administration caved in to the intimidation, but HS Valedictorian used his speech to lead the school in the Lord’s Prayer.  Everyone stood to their feet to recite the Lord’s prayer, and broke out in huge applause at the act of defiance.


I feel bad for the people at the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Like my grandson says, they’re just CRANKY.  But their actions and attitudes reflect a growing change that has been happening in our country.


The World we live in is changing rapidly.

We need courage and boldness to speak the Truth.

We can find that example in the life of DANIEL


Today’s message looks at Daniel 5, the event in Daniel’s life where he interprets the writing on the wall during King Belshazzar’s great banquet.


This event is late in Daniel’s life.  The book of Daniel can be difficult to understand because the events described in Daniel 7-12 are THEMATIC, not Chronological.  The

Chronological section ENDS in Daniel 6:28 “So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”


Herodotus and Xenophon both describe the fall of Babylon.  October 12, 539 BC

Daniel was about 80 years old!



  1. Why Babylon Needed Someone to Stand Up and Tell the Truth!
    1. Babylon was Decadent in the Midst of Destruction.
      1. Daniel 5:1 (NIV84) — King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them.
      2. Babylon was UNDER SIEGE
      3. The PERSIANS were at the city walls.
      4. But Babylon felt secure.
      5. Food for 20 years
      6. Euphrates River flowed through the city
      7. Belshazzar was PRETENDING that everything was OK


  1. Babylon was Defiant against God
    1. Daniel 5:2–4 (NIV84) — 2 While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. 3 So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4 As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.
    2. Blasphamy
    3. Shows his disrespect


  1. Babylon was Dependent on past victoriesDaniel 5:3 (NIV84) — 3 So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them.




Galatians 6:7 (NIV84)   Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.


I          Why Babylon Needed Someone to Stand up and Tell the Truth)


  1. Why Daniel Was That Man
    1. The Message Came from God.
      1. Daniel 5:5–6 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way.
      2. God Entered the Room!


  1. The Message was Clear, but could only be understood through Spiritual enlightenment
    1. The words were Aramaic
    3. The Wise men could not understand it


  1. Daniel remained Faithful
    1. Daniel 5:10–12 The queen, hearing the voices of the king and his nobles, came into the banquet hall. “O king, live forever!” she said. “Don’t be alarmed! Don’t look so pale! 11 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. King Nebuchadnezzar your father—your father the king, I say—appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. 12 This man 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.


  1. Daniel spoke this message, even though it was a message of IMMEDIATE JUDGMENT
    1. MENE Aramaic – weight of 50 SHEKELS.  It is from the verb menâh, “to number, to reckon.”
    2. TEKEL – ONE SHEKEL.  from the verb”to weigh.”
    3. PARSIN – HALF MINA From the verb peras, “to break in two, to divide.”


  1. Daniel 5:18–28 (NIV84) — “O king, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. 19 Because of the high position he gave him, all the peoples and nations and men of every language dreaded and feared him. Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death; those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled. 20 But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. 21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes. 22 “But you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. 23 Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised 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. 24 Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription. 25 “This is the inscription that was written: mene, mene, tekel, parsin 26 “This is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. 27 Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. 28 Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.


  1. Daniel did not CHANGE GOD’S MESSAGE! Many preachers today tell only the parts of the gospel which they find pleasing.  They don’t talk about sin, judgment or the need for a blood sacrifice.  They talk about coming to Jesus as a self-improvement plan.  But such a gospel cannot save a person because the person is not being saved from anything.  They are only staking their claim to a better life now, and the hope of heaven in the future.  Daniel was not like today’s pop gospel preachers.  He told God’s truth even though it was a message of judgment.


    1. God is in control and uses NATIONS to achieve his purposes
      1. Psalm 66:7 (ESV) Whose eyes keep watch on the nations
      2. Psalm 47:8 (ESV) 8God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.
      3. Proverbs 21:1 (ESV) The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.


  1. Our Culture is in Desperate Need of the TRUTH
    1. Babylon
      1. Decadent in the midst of Destruction
      2. Defiant Against God
      3. Dependent on Past Victories


  1. Sound Familiar. These conditions exist in the United States of America today!


  1. The ANSWERS are clear, but people are spiritually blind and cannot see it.


  1. God is seeking people who will speak the truth, even when that truth is unpopular
    1. About the GOSPEL
    2. About coming JUDGMENT
    3. About the FAMILY
    4. About COMPASSION
    5. About MATERIALISM and GREED
    6. About MORALITY


Frederick the Great was the King of Prussia in the mid 18th Century and a powerful military leader.

He had subdued all of his enemies and brought Prussia into military dominance in Europe.  Frederick invited some notable people to his royal table including his top-ranking generals. One of them by the name of Hans von Zieten declined the invitation because he wanted to partake of communion at his church.


Some time later at another banquet Frederick and his guests mocked the general for his religious scruples and made jokes about the Lord’s Supper.


In great peril of his life, the officer stood to his feet and said respectfully to the monarch, “My lord, there is a greater King than you, a King to whom I have sworn allegiance even unto death. I am a Christian man, and I cannot sit quietly as the Lord’s name is dishonored and his character belittled.”


The guests trembled in silence, knowing that von Zieten might be killed. But to their surprise, Frederick grasped the hand of this courageous man, asked his forgiveness, and requested that he remain. He promised that he would never again allow such a travesty to be made of sacred things.


Do you have Courage like Daniel?

Has God burdened your heart to speak truth?


Don’t be ashamed to speak God’s Truth, even when it is unpopular