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In [that] night BELSHAZZAR the king of the Chaldeans was killed.


That very night, BEL PROTECT THE KING, who was the acting king of Babylon, was killed.

Bel Failed to Protect "Bel Protect the King"

Belshazzar’s arrogance, his dishonoring of the True God, and his unwillingness to repent were given their due punishment within hours. While it is thought that his father was spared and taken captive, Belshazzar was killed. He was given the chance to see that his god Bel had not kept his attackers out of the city. He got to feel the sword piercing or striking his flesh because Bel had not protected the king. He died with the realization that his faith in Bel had been ill-founded and that there was another God out there, a True God, who has real power. That True God had given him the opportunity to repent, but he had refused it.

Belshazzar, who had always wanted to be like his predecessor, the great king Nebuchadnezzar, failed to do so in almost every way. He was not the leader of a powerful empire, but the king of a declining empire, thanks in large part to the ineptness of his father. He was proud and arrogant, like Nebuchadnezzar, but unlike his predecessor he did not repent.

It is not difficult to imagine the panic in which the guests of Belshazzar’s banquet fled from the banquet hall. They all knew that their city would fall to the invading army and that their kingdom would be dissolved. Being officials and nobles in the Babylonian empire, they knew their own lives were in grave danger.

Spiritual Takeaway

  1. Don’t allow even a small amount of pride in your life because it is likely to turn into arrogance.
  2. Living your life for yourself instead of for God is a form of disrespect to God, the giver of life.
  3. As long as you have life and breath, you have an opportunity, given to you by God, to repent, so take it.
  4. If you get close to God you will be able to see and understand what others cannot.