It is interesting that Greg Laurie choose to dissect Daniel 5 and the message contained in this fascinating chapter of the book of Daniel. This one has been on my mind lately for the same reasons as stated by Mr Laurie:
God had sent the prophet Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, telling him that he needed to get his life right with God. But Nebuchadnezzar disregarded that and went on his way, doing what he wanted to do. So God’s judgment came upon him. But during that time of judgment, Nebuchadnezzar came to his senses and then used his considerable position as the king to send out a decree telling all the subjects in his realm that he was now a believer in the true God.
About a year later, Nebuchadnezzar died, and sometime afterward, his descendant Belshazzar was ruling in his place. I believe that Belshazzar had been taught the things of God because the prophet Daniel said to him, “But you, Belshazzar … have not humbled yourself, ” (Daniel 5:22 NIV, emphasis added). Belshazzar had heard about God. He had heard what was true. But he went out of his way to defy those standards.
The Bible warns, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7–8 NIV).
Belshazzar wasn’t satisfied to just sin. He had to sin. He had to push it as far as he could until he saw the handwriting on the wall. And because Belshazzar couldn’t read the handwriting, the prophet Daniel was called in to interpret it for him. He recounted to Belshazzar the dramatic story of his grandfather’s conversion. But then he said, “You are his successor, O Belshazzar, and you knew all this, yet you have not humbled yourself. For you have proudly defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you. You and your nobles and your wives and concubines have been drinking wine from them while praising gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone – gods that neither see nor hear nor know anything at all. But you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny!” (Daniel 5:22–23 NLT)
What a statement. How gutsy. How bold. Belshazzar knew better. Daniel was saying, “You knew this, and you sinned in spite of that fact. Here is what your real sin is: God gave you the very breath you are drawing right now, but you have not glorified him.”
The Pentagon says it is mobilizing 400 U.S. military trainers and an almost equal number of “enablers” to train Syrian opposition forces to fight the jihadist army ISIS.
But U.S. officials can’t guarantee the forces won’t use that training to attack the Syrian military, even though the Obama administration contends its goal isn’t to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Underscoring the uncertainty is the fact that Turkey is one of three countries that has agreed to host training of Syrian opposition forces, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Around 3,000 people in Turkey are believed to be linked to the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, a Turkish intelligence report said on Saturday, warning of possible attacks by extremists.The report called for enhanced surveillance of the 3,000 people, including identifying their rank within the extremist group or whether they were active within it, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on Saturday.
A “red alert” had also been sent to security units warning of possible attacks on the embassies of Western countries by IS jihadists following last week’s deadly Islamist attacks in France, the report said.
Europe is in a state of high alert after anti-terror raids netted over two dozen arrests. UK police have raised threat level to ‘severe’ fearing attacks similar to the one narrowly averted in Belgium, while Brussels has deployed troops to guard key sites.
The security beef-up in Britain to the second-highest level of five comes after a Thursday raid on an extremist cell in Belgium revealed an imminent plan to attack police officers. British authorities say a similar attack may be in preparation in UK, the British media reported.
The authorities want to arm patrollers with additional Tazer guns, which incapacitate the target with a powerful electric shock. Unlike officers in continental Europe, their British colleagues mostly go unarmed. Amid the escalated terror tension in Europe, there are fears of a repetition of the knifing of soldier Lee Rigby in May 2013 in Woolwich, south London, by a jihadist loner.British police also ramped up patrol in Jewish communities due to concerns of anti-Semitic attacks. One of the attacks in Paris last week, which triggered the ongoing anti-terrorism response in Europe, targeted a kosher supermarket.
Meanwhile Belgium on Saturday began deploying soldiers to patrol the streets. Up to 300 troops may be expected in the capital Brussels and in the northern city of Anvers, which has a large Jewish population.
In addition to Jewish neighborhoods the soldiers may be required to protect certain embassies, Defense Minister Steven Vandeput told in an interview with VRT network.
Further deployment in Verviers, where two suspects were killed on Friday in a raid, is under consideration. It is the first time in 30 years that Belgian authorities have used the military to reinforce police in cities.
And in Germany security forces are investigating threats to attack train station in Berlin and Dresden and the weekly anti-immigrant rallies in Dresden, according to Der Spiegel.
"We are taking these threats very seriously," an unnamed senior security source was quoted by the magazine as saying.
Germany was among the nations, where massive raids on Friday in the wake of the Belgium’s thwarted attack led to arrests. Two males in their early 40s were taken into custody while there others were released after questioning.