Daniel-Wayne Barber/Part 13 | John Ankerberg Show

Daniel-Wayne Barber/Part 13

By: Dr. Wayne Barber
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By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2006
As far as I can tell, there are only four people in the whole book of Daniel, if you don’t count Nebuchadnezzar, that have humbled themselves before the Lord. And that is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, giving their Babylonian names, and Daniel. Now these pagan kings are having some hard times, they just won’t bow and they’re getting some hard knocks as a result of it.

The Dead End Street Called Pride – Part 3 (Daniel 5:1-31)

Turn to Daniel 5. Quite different than going through the New Testament, isn’t it? We can move right along. A lot of narrative; and it’s just beautiful how the Lord brings us through the book of Daniel. Daniel 5, this is part 3 of a message we began two times ago entitled “The Dead End Street Called Pride.” You know, as we said before, some people just never learn. As far as I can tell, there are only four people in the whole book of Daniel, if you don’t count Nebuchadnezzar, that have humbled themselves before the Lord. I guess you couldn’t really count him because he was humbled. And that is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, giving their Babylonian names, and Daniel. Now these pagan kings are having some hard times, they just won’t bow and they’re getting some hard knocks as a result of it.

I don’t know if you’ve heard the story or not, but I love to tell it about the two moose hunters, trying to emphasize the point of how some people never learn, and they took a trip up to Alaska to hunt moose. And the guy who flew them in, it was a perfect spot, a little cabin sitting on a lake and it was just wonderful. And he said, “Now guys, I’m going to leave you here for about three weeks. Now under the laws of this state, you can each kill a moose, but I want you to know something. If you kill two, if each of you kills one, you’re going to have to eat one of them because we can only carry one out. This is a pontoon plane and the weight of those moose, I can’t carry but one.” Alright, alright! So he lands on this little lake, I mean, just a perfect place, no telephone, nobody can get to you, anything moves you can shoot it. I mean just a wonderful heaven for three weeks.

And he leaves them. Well, in three weeks time he comes back. And he’s circling the lake to land and he looks down on the dock. Oh, no, what he sees is two moose lying there. And he’s thinking, “Oh, man, I told them they could only bring out one.” So he lands the plane on the lake, pulls up to the dock and he says, “Look, didn’t you guys understand? I told you we can only take one moose out of here.” One of the guys spoke up and said, “Oh, come on! I was here last year and the guy told me the same thing. He had the same spiel. You guys, you don’t change a thing. You’re like a broken record.” He said, “Look, I talked him into it, come on, man, let us take these two out. Time to go, come on!”

Well, the other guy chimed in and sure enough they put two moose on those two pontoons. They took that plane up to the other end of the lake, cranked it up, and boy, it was a hard task just getting it off the water. Well, there were some woods at the end of the water and it was sort of a mountainous area there and they had to pull it up over those trees and he was trying everything he had to pull that plane up over the trees, but it just wouldn’t make it. Crashed into the trees.

Miraculously they’re all alive, lying around on the ground. One of the hunters looked at the other and said, “Oh, no, wonder where we are?” The other hunter said, “You know, I think we’re about two hundred yards from where we crashed last year!”

Well, some people just never learn.

Nebuchadnezzar, we thought, had learned a lesson. I believe he did, but now we’re going to move on. In chapter 5, verse 1, we see another man; his name is Belshazzar. Now, let me explain something to you. Between 4:37 and 5:1 a lot of time has gone by; quite a bit of time. As a matter of fact, in this particular chapter Daniel is about 80 years old. Remember, in chapter 1 he was 15, so we’re just seeing time fly by and you must understand that as you study the book of Daniel.

Now it says in verse 1, “Belshazzar the king held a great feast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in the presence of the thousand. When Belshazzar tasted the wine, he gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem.” Now, be real careful here; this was when a secular historian would stand up and say, “Ah ha! There’s a mistake in the Word of God. Because history tells us that Belshazzar was not the son of Nebuchadnezzar. Now, how do you handle stuff like that?

Well, first of all the word there, “father,” can easily be translated into a number of ways. It can be translated “grandfather,” “great-grandfather,” it can be translated “father-in-law.” It would not hurt the text whatsoever and the word definitely was used in those ways.

Let me give you a clue of what’s gone on before Belshazzar came to the throne. Nebuchadnezzar’s son was a man by the name of Evil-Merodach. Now, how would you like to have a name like that? Evil-Merodach. He was the one who succeeded Nebuchadnezzar. He only had a short term; he was murdered by his brother-in-law who did not live too long. His name was Nergal-sharezer. How would you like to have a name like that? It even gets better. He was succeeded by his son, Labashi-Marduc. That’s some interesting names here. He didn’t last very long, because he was murdered by a man, and this is the key one, by the name of Nabonidus. Now you say that doesn’t mean anything to you. Well, it should, because up until just a few years ago secular history said this man, Nabonidus, was the one who was on the throne when Medo-Persia came in and took over Babylon. So what they were saying was that since he was on the throne at that time there could not have possibly have been a man by the name of Belshazzar; this was all dreamed up, somebody who just didn’t know put this man’s name in there.

But it’s incredible what they have discovered. In recent years now that theory has been blown out of the water. They have now discovered that the son of Nabonidus is the man by the name of Belshazzar, either the son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar or his great-grandson, we’re not really sure, I’m not really sure, somehow kin. The word does not hurt the text whatsoever. He’s the one who also ruled with him. There was a co-rule. Isn’t that incredible? And look at verse 7 of chapter 5 and you can understand it. “When the king called aloud and brought in all the magicians he said, ‘Any man who can read this inscription and explain its interpretation to me will be clothed with purple, and have a necklace of gold around his neck, and have authority as the [second ruler of the kingdom? No, the what?] the third ruler of the kingdom.’” In other words, that was the highest position he could offer. Why would it be the third ruler? Because there were two rulers. And history has already now proven to us that this Nabonidus, the father of Belshazzar, had a retirement home. He didn’t even exist in Babylon for one period of time of 12 years. So it was Belshazzar his son who actually carried out all the affairs in the area of Babylon.

You say, “I wasn’t even going to question it; why don’t you go on into the story?” Well, I know that, but some people just do, and I just love it when the Word of God blows them out of the water, and I give it all the credit for doing that.

Well, Belshazzar, whoever he was—if he was the son-in-law, the great-grandson, or whoever—he ought to have paid attention to what happened to Nebuchadnezzar. Shouldn’t he have paid attention? He ought to at least have heard from somebody what was going on. We believe later on that Nebuchadnezzar’s wife was still living: the queen mother at that time. He ought to have heard the stories. He should have learned his lesson, but like we said, some people just never learn. You either humble yourself or God will humble you. That’s just it: that’s the word of God. We’ve got a choice to make.

A proud man has no fear of God

Well, three more things about pride that I’d like for us to look at in Belshazzar’s life that perhaps will help us in our Christian walk. First of all is this: a proud man, like we’re going to see in Belshazzar, has no fear of God. You can write that one down. A proud man has no fear of God. No respect for Him whatsoever, no fear of the holiness of God. A person who says, “I don’t need the Bible in my life, I’m doing fine,” that is a very ignorant person or stupid, one, because he has no fear of God in his life.

Now we’ve already read verses 1-2, but let’s go back and pick it up in context. “Belshazzar the king held a great feast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in the presence of the thousand. When Belshazzar tasted the wine, he gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem.” Now those vessels, as we saw way back in chapter 1, were the sacred vessels that were set apart for worshipping God in the temple; those golden and silver vessels. Nebuchadnezzar had brought them over and put them into his pagan temple there, the gods of his pagan temple. He said he did this “in order that the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone.”

Now what an incredible situation we have here, and we can just see how he’s defying anything to do with a holy God. Takes those vessels that were set apart
for worship over in the temple there in Jerusalem and he puts wine into them and they all have a drunken orgy. And even more than that, in their drunkenness they begin to praise the gods of gold, of silver, of bronze, of iron, of wood, and of stone. You know, I had a thought as I was studying that: it just grieves my heart that these folks would do that and yet at the same time I can see the pride that’s just as rotten today as it was back then. But the thought that came into my mind was that a proud person only worships that which he can understand and that which he can control.

Notice these were manmade gods; these were idols that man had come up with. The gold, the silver, the bronze and the wood: a proud man would never worship our God because he knows that he has to be controlled by our God. He only would allow himself to worship that which he is in control of. So a proud man has no fear of God whatsoever: pride has robbed him of his fear.

Will you look with me in Proverbs 29:1. Nebuchadnezzar and all of his crowd there took that which was sacred and made a mockery out of it; took that which was sacred and made a mockery out of it. Proverbs 29:1, “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be [What?] broken beyond remedy.” It is good for us to remember, folks, that the vessels of that temple are no longer present because we now are the temple of God. God lives within us. I couldn’t help but think of Paul talking about in Romans of yielding your life to Him, yielding all that you are back to Him. And a person who would allow the place where the Holy Spirit dwells in our life, to make a mockery of all that God has done, is a person who is very proud: he’s a fool, folks, and he doesn’t realize that God is going to humble that individual. We have to remember that we are to keep sacred that which God has declared sacred; and a holy man, a godly man, will always give reverence back to that which God has given to him.

God will put fear into the proud man

So we find that he has no fear of God whatsoever. But the second thing that I want you to see is this: not only does a proud man not have any fear of God, but the second thing, and the real good part of this, is that God will put fear into the proud man. Proud man doesn’t have a fear of God, but you’re going to see that since he won’t humble himself, God is going to put fear into the proud man. That’s an incredible thing. Hebrews says it’s a fearsome thing to be in the hands of a living God. Do you ever feel like I feel, that in the 20th century we’ve lost a little bit of the sense of the fear of the holy God? It seems like we play around with the manmade idols of this world and we treat as unholy the things that God has called holy and we think that God’s not going to bother us. Why, He’ll give us another chance; it’s always a second chance or whatever. We seem like we just push Him and push Him and push Him. And what I’m learning from Daniel, and what’s helping me in my life, is bringing me back to dead center. To bring back the fear of a holy God: not the kind of fear that runs away from Him, but the kind of fear that understands that He’s a God of judgment and He’s a God that’s going to deal with unholy things in our lives.

So, not only does a proud man have no fear of God, but God will put fear into a proud man. This is the story as it unfolds beginning in verse 5. In the midst of this drunken feast, as they took the vessels out of the temple and they were drinking out of them, in the midst of all this look what happens. Verse 5, “Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand emerged,” and that word “emerged” means just appeared on the wall. All of a sudden there were some fingers, and it doesn’t really even give us the idea that it was a hand. It was just some fingers there on the wall, “and began writing opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace.” Now that plaster would have been something like a dull white, a chalky white, or a lime color. What they have dug up would give us that idea. So, in other words, it would be enough of a light background that anything that was written on it everybody could see. But not just everybody, the king could see it. And all of a sudden, folks, we find him sober. But it’s too late, old buddy. He’s pushed God too far.Right in the midst of their party God crashes it and ghostly fingers appear on the wall and begin writing a message. Now, this terrifies the king. Well, now, wait a minute. A few moments ago it didn’t matter to him if he took the sacred vessels right out of the temple and had a drunken party with them and made mockery of a holy God. But all of a sudden God moves in and God crashes the party and now he’s dead sober and now there’s fear all over him. “Oh, no, what are we going to do?”

You see, this is exactly the way God works in people’s lives. You push Him and you push Him and you act as if He’s not who He is, friend, you can only push Him so far. And then God is going to make His move. You may not have a fear of the Holy God now, but you can write one thing down: there will come a day when God is going to put fear in you as to who He is.

Well, verse 6, “Then the king’s face grew pale, and his thoughts alarmed him; and his hip joints went slack.” What it’s talking about, and it sounds kind of funny when you say it, but it’s in the hip there that you stand up. If you didn’t have a good strong hip you’d fall down. Anybody that’s had a replacement in their hip knows that. And so the hip joint just goes slack and “his knees began knocking together.” Buddy, this old boy is worried. Dead sober now! Oh, he was playing his games for a little while; God has his attention and now terror has struck his heart.

Look at verse 7, “The king called aloud to bring in the conjurers, the Chaldeans
and the diviners. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, ‘Any man who can read this inscription [that the fingers had written on the wall] and explain its interpretation to me will be clothed with purple, and have a necklace of gold around his neck, and have authority as third ruler in the kingdom.’” Man, he’s frantic right now. “I’ve got to know: what is this message on the wall.” He knows it’s not going to be good, but he can’t stand it until he finds out. Terror is in his heart.

Have you ever watched somebody that made a mockery out of God and God moved in their life and it brought them to where they were so weak they couldn’t stand up? That’s the kind of God that we have. We see Him on one side; we forget He’s also a God of judgment. Verse 8, “Then all the king’s wise men came in,” and here’s the failure again: human reasoning and understanding couldn’t do it, “but they could not read the inscription or make known its interpretation to the king.”

Watch how progressive this whole thing is. He starts off and he’s struck with some terror, but now he’s absolutely frantic. He’s about to lose his mind. Verse 9, “Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, his face grew even paler, and his nobles were perplexed.”

Now at this particular point we’re going to see Daniel come in on the scene. It says in verse 10, “The queen entered the banquet hall.” Now, we don’t know who the queen is for sure, but we know that he had his wives over in verse 2 already there, because it says that, so very likely this would not be his wife, the queen. More than likely it’s the queen mother who was probably the aged widow of Nebuchadnezzar who was still hanging around. She saw the dilemma and I guess a little bell went off in her mind, “I have seen this before.” And so she comes in to Belshazzar. It says, “The queen entered the banquet hall because of the words of the king and his nobles; the queen spoke and said, ‘O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts alarm you or your face be pale. There is a man in your kingdom in whom is a spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father, illumination, insight, and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him. And King Nebuchadnezzar, your father the king, appointed him chief of the magicians, conjurers, Chaldeans, and diviners. This was because an extraordinary spirit, knowledge and insight, interpretation of dreams, explanation of enigmas, and solving of difficult problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Let Daniel now be summoned, and he will declare the interpretation.’”

Now we have Daniel, probably in his eighties. After Nebuchadnezzar had died most likely he lost his job as being head of the wise men. He was just now a captive from over in Judah. And so this queen mother remembered what went on over in Nebuchadnezzar’s life, so she called for Daniel to come forth. I had a thought that came to my heart. Isn’t it amazing that God’s people are only necessary when the world’s and people’s pride has been knocked out from under them? Have you ever noticed that? They don’t have any need for us right now, folks. They don’t have any need for a preacher or a minister or a Christian or a missionary. Oh, how foolish! Boy, you let that old boy start being humbled by God Himself and you see who is the first one he cries out to.

Now he wants Daniel in front of him, buddy. He knows the guys around him can’t interpret this thing so now he wants Daniel to come in. And it’s really interesting here: he really tries to flatter Daniel. Now a few verses back, here he is dishonoring the God of Daniel, and now he’s trying to flatter him. Look at verse 13, “Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the exiles from Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? Now I have heard about you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight, and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. Just now the wise men and the conjurers were brought in before me that they might read this inscription and make its interpretation know to me, but they could not declare the interpretation of the message. But I personally have heard about you.” I don’t know why, but something in this, I believe he’s just buttering this old boy up: “I got another one: Daniel, you’re a good guy now. Haven’t had any use for you since I’ve been in the kingdom but I’m kind of at a loss right now and you’re in good check.”

“I personally have heard about you, that you are able to give interpretations and solve difficult problems. Now if you are able to read this inscription and make its interpretation known to me, you will be clothed with purple and wear a necklace of gold around your neck, and you will have authority as the third ruler in the kingdom.” And I love what Daniel does. Old Daniel reads between the lines. He says, “Buddy, you can’t buy me, and what I’m going to say, I’m going to say. I’m going to let it go, I mean both barrels.” Look what it says in verse 17, “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.’”

You know, there are a lot of verses and we’re trying to read this verse by verse, but sometimes we get lost in the reading. But I want you to see what’s happening here. It’s a tragic, terrible thing, because Belshazzar has mocked a holy God; taken the sacred vessels and had an orgy out of it in total defiance to a holy God. God now has put fear in this king’s heart. He does not know what to do. His knees are literally shaking. He’s so weak he can hardly stand up and they bring a man by the name of Daniel in and he tries to butter him up and flatter him. But Daniel says, “No way, buddy.” It’s almost like one more dose of what’s coming. Daniel said, “No way; keep your gifts to yourself. But I will read that inscription for you.” Old Daniel, in his eighties, had probably watched how it had gone down, down, down, since Belshazzar had become king, or really since Nebuchadnezzar had died.

Well, the first thing is this: a proud man has no fear of God. Second thing that we learned from this passage of Scripture that may help us in our walk is that God will put fear into the proud man. He’ll bring you to a point that you can’t handle or me to a point that I can’t handle, and He’ll put His fear within me. Buddy, that’s when I’m going to start reaching out, crying out, trying to find somebody to help me understand what’s going on in my life.

Are you proud tonight? I told somebody before the service, “I’m going to get into another book as soon as I possibly get into it. This is killing me.” You know, pride is such a subtle thing and how quickly God can move, how quickly He can put that fear and that uncertainty in a person’s heart. Why? Because He wants that person to bow down and honor Him.

God will judge the proud

Well, the third thing that I want you to see, and it’s just a principle that I picked out and it might help us and encourage us in our walk, and that’s this: you can write it down somewhere and just take it to the bank: God will judge
the proud. If you’re here and you say, “Oh, you don’t scare me,” well, I’m not trying to scare you. But I want you to know that God is going to scare you. He’s going to put His fear into your life. He’s going to judge that pride in your life. He doesn’t like it; He hates it, one of the seven things that He hates.

But let’s look at that, verses 18-21; he begins to interpret the dream or the writing. Verse 18 says, “O king, the Most High God granted sovereignty, grandeur, glory, and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your father.” He gives him the story, rehearses what God did with Nebuchadnezzar. “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. 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. 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.”

And then he says this in verse 22, “Yet you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though [now watch this] you knew all this.” That’s a very key phrase there.

Belshazzar knew what happened to Nebuchadnezzar, but he still would not humble his heart. He says, “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 [watch this] are your life-breath and your ways, you have not glorified.”

Good night! You realize when you get up in the morning and you start thanking God for all your material blessings, get that out of your mind. Thank Him for the fact that you can take a breath in the morning because God gives you the next breath that you take. He’s the One who gives you your life-breath and how ungrateful people are. He says, “Man, you have not glorified the One that gives you the life-breath.”

I had a thought. You know, He gave Nebuchadnezzar several chances, didn’t He? He seems like He dealt with him in chapter 2, He dealt with him again in chapter 3 and dealt with him again in chapter 4. It looks like Belshazzar is getting a rough shake. Did that ever trouble any of us? I mean, after all, why didn’t He give him another chance? Why didn’t He say, “Oh, come on Belshazzar, this is your first time. Now I’m going to give you a dream like I gave Nebuchadnezzar and I’m going to give you another experience. I might even put you out in the pasture for seven years until you finally get right with me.” But He didn’t do that, did He? He moves right into a judgment that is final in Balthazar’s life.

Now I want to make sure that you understand something about the character of God. Remember what Nebuchadnezzar said? Of course, we don’t have to hear it from a pagan king: God’s ways are just, folks. Whatever God does is just. The question should never be, “Why did He give Nebuchadnezzar three chances and Belshazzar only one chance?

That should never be the question. The question should be, “Why did He ever give me the time of day?” That’s the key. We don’t sit in judgment of what God does. But I’ll tell you something that comes out in the Scripture in the next few passages. It is God who holds the scale, folks.

It’s God who holds the scale. What He did in Nebuchadnezzar’s life was because He knows the hearts of all men. He knew something about Nebuchadnezzar that He also knew differently in Belshazzar. And we don’t question what God does. What He does is right; it may seem like it’s not equitable to us, but God’s character never needs to be defended. The key is, why does God fool with us? Why does God give the time of day?

We are dirt; we are dust, that’s all we are. And yet sometimes we act as if we don’t even care that a holy God was the One who gave us our life-breath. I’m telling you, folks, I wonder sometimes why He fools with me. Do you ever wonder about that?

I read about Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar, but I can see things in their lives that have been right there in mine the same way. I love that passage that says, “His mercies are fresh every day.” Aren’t you glad? Aren’t you glad you can come before Him and know He’s a merciful, loving God to His children? That’s a beautiful thing that we have about Him.

Well, verse 24 says, “Then the hand was sent from Him,” Daniel is telling him, “and this inscription was written out.” Here is what was written on the wall. “Now this is the inscription that was written out: “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.” Now he explains those words. The word “mene” there means “thou has been numbered.” The word “tekel” means “to be weighed,” and the word “upharsin” is an interesting word; don’t let me lose you here. It means to be divided, or division. It’s in the plural form.

Now watch, verse 26 begins the explanation. “This is the interpretation of the message: MENE—God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it.” God, who numbers days and numbers the hairs on your head, has numbered your kingdom and it’s over, big boy. It is too late. It’s gone. He’s numbered it: God has numbered it. Man didn’t number it, God numbered it. Secondly, “TEKEL—you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient.” And then the word “PARES—your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.”

Let me ask you a question: do you ever wonder why he didn’t explain the word “upharsin”? Why didn’t he bring it up again? Well, he did. Upharsin is the plural word for division, “pares” is the singular word. Same word comes from the very same thing. So it doesn’t mean that he didn’t explain all the words; that’s just a plural and a singular. And what he says is, “Your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and the Persians.”

Now, historians tell us that there was a river, that Euphrates River, that somehow flowed up underneath that city. Now, I don’t understand all this, but this is what I’m gathering. And evidently it was an underground river. And what they did, they suspect, is that the Medes and Persians, while all this was going on inside, over on the other side of the walls there, they diverted the river and they caused that channel to dry up, and so all their men came in and went underground and were coming down that channel now that the water had been drained out of. And that’s the way they moved in on him. And as quickly as God said it, they were there and took over his kingdom. Verse 29, “Then Belshazzar gave orders, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a necklace of gold around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he now had authority as the third ruler in the kingdom.” But that wasn’t going to last long; a few hours maybe. Verse 30, “That same night, Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. So Darius the Mede received the kingdom at about the age of sixty-two.”

Now remember back in chapter 2, the statue? The head was Babylon. Then you have the shoulders and the upper torso, which was what? The Medes and the Persians that was prophesied to Nebuchadnezzar. And now you see the second part of the statue coming true. It was prophesied, God said it would happen, now it’s taken place. That’s a whole chapter and a lot of verses.

But what are we learning about pride? Well, we’re learning the fact that a proud man does not fear God. A proud person does not fear God. What do we find out
about a proud person? How do you know when you’re a proud person? When you don’t have time for the Word of God and you’re leaving God out of everything you’re doing, very obviously you’re displaying the fact that you don’t have time for a Holy God. You don’t even fear a Holy God. But the second thing we’ve learned is that God will put fear in those who are called proud men. Don’t you worry about it. God has a way of getting our attention, folks. And the third thing we learned is that we can take it to the bank: God will judge our pride.

I’m thankful to be in the Lord Jesus. I’m thankful there’s no condemnation to those who are in Him. But I can take that principle and understand the fact that I’m going to pay a consequence when I leave God out of my life. When I say, “God, don’t call me, I’ll call you,” I’m asking for trouble. I’m asking for trouble. And I have no idea what He’ll have to do to get to me to get my attention. Hebrews 12 says he chastens and disciplines and even does what? scourges, those whom He loves. Do you know what the word “scourge” means in my personal vocabulary? It beats the hide clean off! He’ll bring me right down to the end of my life if necessary to get me back to respecting Him, honoring Him, and humbling myself before Him. A proud man does not fear God; God will put fear in a proud man; and God will judge the proud.

Read Part 14

Dr. Wayne Barber

Dr. Wayne Barber

Wayne has taught the message of “Living Grace” around the world. He is president, founder, and principal speaker of Living Grace Ministries and Senior Pastor of Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He learned to exegete Scripture by studying for 10 years with Spiros Zodhiates, one of the leading Greek scholars.
Dr. Wayne Barber

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