Knowing is not enough

Daniel 5.1-31

This note was originally published on Monday 8 April 2019.

God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.


God knows all your numbers: the hairs on your head (even if you’re bald), the days of your life – even your tears. Ask God to fill you afresh with an awareness of his intimate love for you.


Daniel 5.1-31


In chapter 5 we skip forward several years to the final night of the Babylonian empire, and it’s clear the lesson of Nebuchadnezzar has not been learned (v 22). Proud and arrogant, Belshazzar mocks God (vs 3-4) and his servant Daniel (v 13).

But I suspect that never in the history of drunken kings has one sobered up as fast as Belshazzar did that night. The one who joked about God became a joke himself, his knees knocking in fear (v 6).

Has God ever stopped you dead in your tracks? Has a verse from Scripture, a word from a Christian sister or brother, a sudden realisation of the truth made you come to your senses? What about today? Is there anything God is saying to you that you’ve been ignoring?

The original ‘writing on the wall’ told Belshazzar his number was up – the days of his kingdom had been numbered by God and brought to an end. Why? Belshazzar knew all about what had happened to Nebuchadnezzar (v 22), and yet he did nothing. Knowing is not enough.


James says (1.22), ‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.’ What is God saying to you today? Are you listening?