VERSES: Daniel 5:1-31
MEMORY VERSE: Daniel 5:25 "And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Titus. Write "Titus" on slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class, so they will be taken home to memorize.
PRAYER: Thank God for being a just God.
SPECIAL SONG: Be Careful Little Eyes (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click orange circle for tune.)
VISUAL AID: Draw a large Activity (see below) on whiteboard or chalkboard.
- Belshazzar was the son of King Nebuchadnezzar, who was the king of Babylon. This name was very close to what the officer of Babylon had given Daniel as a new name when he first came to Babylon as a captive, but Daniel's name was Bel-te-shazzar. Close, but not the same.
- Belshazzar made a huge feast and a thousand people came. They drank a lot of wine at Belshazzar's party, but before Belshazzar drank anything, he ordered someone to go and get the gold and silver vessels which his father, King Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem. Do we remember where Nebuchadnezzar had taken the vessels from in Jerusalem? God's temple!
- When they brought back the gold and silver vessels, the king, his wives, his princes--all the very important people--drank wine from the vessels that were from the temple of God that had been in Jerusalem! They should not have done that! They drank wine from the vessels and praised the idols of Babylon, their gods that were made from gold, silver, iron, brass, wood, and stone.
- Within that same hour, the king looked up and saw the fingers of a man's hand writing on the wall of the palace close by where they had a candlestick. The king's conscience troubled him. He must have thought about drinking wine from the vessels that were from the LORD's temple. The Bible says that his thoughts troubled him so much so that his joints loosened up and his knees were shaking against each other! He was afraid! The king cried out loud and called for his astrologers and magicians who were called "wise men of Babylon" to tell him what the words meant that were written on the wall. None of Belshazzar's wise men could interpret the writing on the wall. But the queen remembered that Daniel could interpret dreams and suggested calling him in to help.
- Daniel was brought before the king and the king wanted to make sure that Daniel was the same man who could interpret dreams. The king said that if Daniel could interpret the writing on the wall, he would give him new scarlet clothes, a gold chain for his neck, and he would be promoted to the third ruler in the kingdom.
- When Daniel spoke, he said that the king could keep his gifts and give the rewards to someone else, yet he would still read the writing on the wall and tell the king what it meant. Daniel then reminded the king that the Most High God gave Belshazzar's father a kingdom and many rewards and honor. Daniel said that everyone feared King Nebuchadnezzar, but when his heart was full of pride, the LORD God brought him down to eat the grass of the earth until he had humbled himself. But, Daniel said, Belshazzar had not humbled himself even a little bit. His heart, too, was full of pride and, now, his servants had brought the king the vessels from the temple of the LORD, and he and the important people had drunk wine from them and praised their idols who could not see, hear, or know. King Belshazzar had not glorified and honored the LORD God at all, so the writing on the wall was sent to him by God. Then, Daniel told what the writing, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN, meant.
- MENE-meant that God had numbered his kingdom and it was finished.
- TEKEL-meant Belshazzar had been weighed in the balance and had been found wanting.
- PERES- meant the kingdom had been divided and given to the next kingdom, the Medes and the Persians.
- Belshazzar then commanded that Daniel be given the scarlet clothes, the gold chain, and he became the third ruler in the land. But...that night, Belshazzar died and his kingdom was given to Darius, the Median, who took the kingdom, so now there was a new king, Darius, and a new nation who ruled over the servants of God who were taken from Jerusalem.
- God's Word was true. God knows the future. God is in control. We always need to remember those very important things.
- Talk about how we can be taught by the Bible and our conscience can be taught good things. When we go against what we know is true, our conscience can trouble us like King Belshazzar's conscience troubled him. Read Romans 14:23. We need to make certain that they things we do are from faith, then we do not sin.
- The Chaldeans were also called Babylonians.
- The Medes and the Persians ruled at the same time.
- We do not know why the interpretation is a bit different than what was written on the wall, but we do know the meaning.
Materials needed: 9" x 12" purple construction paper, 6" x 8" light brown construction paper, 4" x 6" yellow construction paper, scrap of red foil, 8.5" x 11" white bond paper, glue, marker or black crayon.
- Hand out brown paper.
- Draw hand, writing (see picture). It's not hard.
- Cut out hand. Set aside.
- Hand out yellow paper.
- Draw candlestick (see picture). This is not hard, either.
- Cut out candlestick. Set aside.
- Hand out white paper.
- Write in large letters, "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN" and "Daniel 5" on white paper.
- Hand out purple paper.
- Glue white paper on purple paper.
- Glue hand in corner of white paper.
- Glue candlestick beside hand.
- Hand out red foil.
- Cut out a flame.
- Glue flame on candlestick.
- Decorate candlestick.