NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.
Bible Passage: Daniel 5:17-28
Discussion Question: When you were a child, how did you know you were in trouble?
Food for Thought by Rob Zinn*:
When I was a boy my father often would ask: “Son, when are you going to learn?” Years later, I ask my children the same thing … and I’m sure they will probably ask it of their children.
I’m sure my father was not the first to say this. Variations of the well-known phrase, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it,” go back a few hundred years, but examples of that truth go back even further. The Book of Daniel offers us one such example: a pagan king who failed to learn from the failings of another king before him. Had he only paid attention, he could have avoided what happened to him. More than just a fascinating story from the pages of Scripture and history, this event challenges us to consider how we will deal with our sin — and the sins of others.
Daniel was specific in identifying the ways Belshazzar of Babylon had sinned against God:
— pride: Belshazzar had not humbled his heart;
— blasphemy: Belshazzar exalted himself against the God of heaven by using the sacred vessels from the temple to drink wine and blaspheme God;
— idolatry: Belshazzar used the vessels from God’s house to praise false gods.
Our own nation is guilty of the same sins Babylon had committed — pride, blasphemy, and idolatry. We have become prideful and arrogant. We have essentially thrown God out of our science, our schools, our government, and many of our homes. The secular has become more important than the spiritual. We are losing our moral compass because we now live in a culture where everyone wants to do what is right in his or her own eyes. We are guilty before God. God’s hand was on Daniel, and I believe he spoke the truth in love and sincerity. In that moment Belshazzar learned a hard truth: Your sin will find you out.
Any individual or nation that defies and blasphemes God is setting itself up for destruction. Babylon did not fall because of the weakness of its walls. Babylon did not fall because of the weakness of its army. It fell because of its moral weakness! I am concerned that America is going down the same road. Join me in proclaiming and witnessing to the answer we find only in Christ: His hope, forgiveness, and salvation.
Bible Studies For Life
Bible Studies for Life is a life-stage focused family of resources that addresses key issues in the lives of adults and students. Consisting of seven curriculum lines developed for various life and generational stages plus two others designed for deeper study, all of these resources focus on the same Bible passage for each week. Information about the seven curriculum lines and more information can be found on the Internet at LifeWay.com/BibleStudiesforLife.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.