King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.
2 Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. -Daniel 5:1-4
Perhaps you’ve been to a party at which the hosts were trying to make an impression. Nothing but the finest china was on the table. The best wine, most delicious appetizers, perfectly-prepared food, and scrumptious desserts are the order of the event. Everyone has to know there is great wealth, power, influence, and taste are here. I suppose those things must happen in the halls of political powers or the realm of the Hollywood elite.
I’ve not experienced such displays, but I’ve heard of them. There are people who want to make an impression. I’m don’t seem to be one who is the target of such impression; or I’m oblivious to it.
Belshazzar – Nebuchadnezzar’s son – seems to have been one who wanted to make an impression. There are a thousand of his lords, he will show his bounty. In a moment of self-importance he decides to bring out the sacred vessels that had been taken from the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem. He not only profanes the things from God’s temple, he even praises the false gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone!
Gold, silver, bronze and wood can bring a certain pleasure – short-lived as that may be. How else do we sell exciting cars, beautiful houses, or delightful works of art? But none of these bring true lasting joy. They will be lost, subject to decay, stolen, or left to another. Belshazzar is soon to learn this – though he will try his best to prove himself more powerful even than God.
Such folly is unworthy of any follower of Jesus Christ. We must repent of every tendency to do so, or reject any overtures to be impressed by others who would seek our approval. In the end, he who dies with the most toys…still dies.