King Belshazzar's Feast
Pride overbalanced Nebuchadnezzar's judgment, and, in
the plain of Dura, he was led to erect a great image of himself as Earth's
Ruler, to which all people were required to bow down in obedient
reverence! If the people could regard him as a god, they would be the more
sure to obey him. But among them were three Hebrews who refused to bow the
knee. Their religious scruples were not respected. It was enough that they
were defying Emperor Nebuchadnezzar.
A great furnace was heated seven
times, or as hot as possible, and into it the three servants of God were
cast. The men who threw them in inhaled flame and died. Nebuchadnezzar and
his lords, looking over toward the furnace, saw the three unhurt and with
them One like unto the Son of God. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged the God of
the Hebrews and commanded all the people to worship Him. Although God's
people today may be subjected to fiery trials, they will probably not be
literally burned in a furnace. Nevertheless, God's power can keep their
hearts in every trouble.
It was after this that Nebuchadnezzar became insane and
beast-like lived upon herbage, seven years, after which his reason was
restored and he gave glory to God.
Later on came Belshazzar's Feast, the handwriting on the
wall and the fall of Babylon, when the kingdom of the Medes and Persians,
represented in the Image by the silver, and by the Bear in Daniel's
vision, took possession of the dominions once ruled by Babylon. Cyrus'
army turned aside the Euphrates, marched in through the river-bed and
captured the city supposed to be impregnable.
Babylon is the symbolical name in Revelation for a great
Ecclesiastical System. Its fall is described as accomplished through the
drying up of the symbolical river Euphrates, that the way of the Kings of
the East might be prepared--a Royal Priesthood, of which Christ is the
Head. The river represents people and wealth.--Revelation 17:15.
Belshazzar's Last Feast
Handwriting on the Wall