Before we move on to the next chapter, I’d like us to take a step back for a few moments. In these three verses we have an illustration of the work of the evangelist. This is something not confined to 500 BC and the work of Daniel, or to 50 AD and the work of the Apostle Paul. This is the work of the missionary, the work of the pastor, the work of the evangelist. But in a very special way, it is the work of every one of us.

Daniel, a very special prophet of God, was sent by the Lord with a message for Belshazzar. Yes, it involved a special revelation and the interpretation of some mysterious words. But as we think about the lesson we learned last Sunday afternoon – that this writing on the wall was representative of all the Word of God – then what was done with that revelation is similar to what should always be done with the Word of God. God’s Word should be shared and taught – to anyone willing to listen.

Let’s start with the Evangelist on this Evangelistic Team – Daniel.
First, there was no doubt but that he was a child of God. Even though it is possible for an unsaved disciple to echo the words of the gospel, and for an ass to speak, the most effective evangelists and representatives for the Lord are God’s own saints. I won’t try to prove to you that Daniel was one of the Lord’s beloved disciples – simply put – he was.

Second, he was in the place where God had placed him. He was a representative of God in a foreign country – in a sense, he was a God-sent missionary. Someone might say that this mission wasn’t taken on voluntarily, like Frank Tottingham or Curtis Pugh. Daniel was in Babylon by the command of a foreign king. And you could say that Babylon had become his home, just as Post Falls has become my home. He didn’t grow up in Babylon, in the same way that few of you grew up here in this place. And yet this was Daniel’s place of service – the place where God wanted him to represent Him.

As we have seen, Daniel was divinely raised up to become one of the most influential people in the kingdom – during the time when Nebuchadnezzar was king. It was miraculously – providentially arranged – through the dreams of the king. But there he was – Daniel sat in the gate of the king’s house, and may have had the monarch’s ear. As we have already suggested, he used that opportunity to bring glory to the Lord and helpful counsel to Nebuchadnezzar. In fact Nebuchadnezzar may have become a worshiper of the Lord through the helpful leadership of Daniel. This epitomizes the work of every saint of God – even though most of us never reach the elevation to which Daniel arose. If, when we die, we can say that we helped some other sinner to begin to worship the Lord, then we have had a profitable life.

Eventually. the great king of Babylon died and was succeeded by his son. Daniel, along with hundreds of other governmental officials of the former king were replaced. The new, foolish ruler put his friends into the positions that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah once held, and with them came hundreds of others who had ingratiated themselves in the new monarch’s life. It is impossible to say whether Daniel spent the next ten years in comfort and ease – or poverty and pain. I’d like to imagine him living in relative obscurity, but spending that time encouraging other Jews who had been brought from Jerusalem to Babylon. I’d like to imagine him leading Bible studies and speaking to Chaldean and Hebrew children about the grace and power of the Lord. He also was teaching them about the prophesy of Jeremiah and what sort of things might face them in the weeks, days and hours ahead – after the fall of Babylon.

Let’s say that throughout those ten or more years, Daniel simply was available to the Lord to do whatever was necessary. This is an extremely important aspect of Christian service – availability. Simply put, most Christians do not make themselves available to the Lord. In some cases, it could be quite humbling – especially considering the position that Daniel once held. But whether in the spot-light or the shadows, that man maintained a willing heart – and an ear attuned to the call of the Lord. “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth.”

And then eventually came the call, when Daniel was invited to the palace of Belshazzar. There was a crisis, very similar to that which first introduced him to Belshazzar’s grandfather. There had been a visit by Jehovah – there was a mysterious message. There wasn’t a secular or religious wise-man in all Babylon who could make heads or tails of the message. And so Daniel had been summoned. Quickly he put on his old robes – the best that he had for his presentation before the king. He combed his beard and his hair and walked as swiftly as his old legs and knees could carry him.

Once again, when he arrived at the once familiar palace, the king promised to make him wealthy. “If thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Years before when Nebuchadnezzar made the same kind of offer, Daniel didn’t really make a reply. But the intervening years had taught him that all the wealth in the world meant little. And beside, Daniel was well aware that there would be little or no opportunity to enjoy these gifts. The Medes and the Persians were at the gates of the city.

“Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.” There isn’t a price to be put upon the gospel of Christ or any part of the Word of God. Yes, it takes money to send a missionary to the field, and to keep him there. And it’s true that the Bible teach us that gospel laborer is worthy of his hire, and that he is worthy of double honor, but the moment that the missionary, or the pastor, suggests that God’s truth can be bought and sold, that man should be yanked from the ministry.

Daniel, looked at God’s words upon the wall, and told the king what they meant. “And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” There was no fear whatsoever in the voice, in the demeanor, or in the heart of the man of God. It didn’t matter to him what Belshazzar might do. Even if he ordered his immediate execution, it mattered little, because that would have been nothing more than a promotion to Heaven. Daniel was not Sadducee – he believed in the eternality of the soul, and the reality of Heaven.

Daniel was the epitome of the God-sent evangelist. He began with judgment – because that lays at the foundation of the gospel. In this case, whether he was able to get to the part about the grace of God, we don’t really know. But he did the work that he was sent to do – what he had the opportunity to do. And he is rejoicing today in the blessings of his Saviour and his Master.

Now, if you’ll remember, I’m calling this message – “God’s evangelistic team.” This was not just a one man mission. Maybe there weren’t supporting churches, sending him money every month and praying for him, but there were others involved in the evangelism of this king.

Before Daniel, there was the Queen Mother.
I confess that I am guessing about this woman. But it’s one of those so-called “educated guesses.” Thankfully, if I am wrong, there isn’t a great deal of harm being done tonight. And if I am making a proper application, then there could be some genuine good come as a result.

The woman who told the king about Daniel, was not in the banquet hall that night. But in verse 2 the scripture tells us that Belshazzar was there with his wives and his concubines. Then when Daniel came in, he said, O Belshazzar thou hast “lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.” There is no statement telling us that only some of the wives of the king were present that night. I think that we should assume that they were all present – all were getting drunk – all were blaspheming the name of the Lord. And by the way, none of those women were called “queens.”

So who was this “queen” who came into the hall, after all the screaming and wailing had died away? She was obviously someone who knew about Daniel, when Belshazzar didn’t. And as we listen to how she described him, it sounds very much like descriptions that were given to Daniel in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. “There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.” I could be wrong, but my guess is that this queen was the wife, or one of the wives of Nebuchadnezzar. My guess would be that she was the grandmother of this current king. She has earned the respect and the ear of the numbskull currently sitting on the throne. John Gill says that her name was Amyitis – a beautiful name as far as names go.

Why do I say that she was a part of the evangelistic team? Obviously, she knew and had respect for the evangelist. She may not have considered herself qualified to read and to interpret the writing on the wall. But she knew of its importance, and she was reasonably sure that she knew who could explain those divine scriptures to the king.

Let’s assume that my assumption is correct (which admittedly is a redundant statement – some sort of double negative). Let’s say that this woman was the wife of Nebuchadnezzar. What is the likelihood that she too, came to understand that Jehovah really is the God of all the universe? She may have been there to witness what had happened to Nebuchadnezzar. She knew about the dream that he had, and that Daniel had explained it perfectly. And she may have been present when her foolish husband made that law which resulted in Daniel’s friends being cast into the burning fiery furnace. Ah, but they were miraculously delivered from that death. Then she was also a witness to her husband’s insanity and eventual restoration. Assuming that Nebuchadnezzar became a believer in the Lord, we might also assume that his wife would have followed him in his faith. It could have been possible that even if Nebuchadnezzar did not become a believer, his wife might have.

Stretching our assumptions, we might go on to say that when Nebuchadnezzar died, and Daniel was deposed from his office, that Amytitis was also somewhat deposed. A new king sat upon the throne and his wife or wives began to run the palace. The queen mother was treated with respect, when necessary, but ignored most of the time. This quite often happens – shamefully so – to the elderly. Throwing my imagination to the wind, I’d like to imagine her beginning to attend Daniel’s Bible studies. I’d like to picture her as becoming a member of the church, or the mission, of which he was the pastor.

Again, she doesn’t feel the least bit of authority or even ability to break open the word of God to this man who is in spiritual agony. But she does the next best thing – “Let me call my pastor and let him talk to you about your soul.” “Belshazzar, I’m not an expositor of the Bible, but come with me to my church and hear our pastor speak about the Lord from the pages of the Word of God.”

If you stop and think about it, whoever this woman was, she was instrumental in presenting the truth to this dying man’s heart. She couldn’t do it directly, but she did so indirectly. She did all that she could, in bringing Daniel and the king together.

You and I have been called to be either Daniels or Amyitis. And the service and eternal rewards for both are just about the same. If you can’t preach the Word, then support and encourage the man who has been called to that work. If you can’t preach the Gospel, then be diligent in bringing people to the place where the gospel is preached.

Among several others, there is one other major Partner in this work of evangelism – the Lord Himself.
I won’t spend much time on this point, because it’s not really a part of Daniel 5. But the results of the evangelistic effort, whatever those results might have been, were not dependent upon either Daniel or Amyitis. Unlike most modern evangelists, we are not told that Daniel squeezed a “decision” out of the man. I know that we aren’t supposed to create arguments out of what the Bible doesn’t say, but neither should we necessarily assume things. All that the Bible says at this point is that Daniel presented God’s message – and that was that.

Should we say that Daniel merely shared with this man what God had revealed, and then he left the results in the hands of the Lord? I don’t read of any reason to think otherwise in this case. When it comes to evangelism, I believe that this is way that the work should be done. Yes, we should command the soul under conviction to repent of his sin and to believe on Christ. And yes, perhaps we should be appropriately, emotionally charged as we do so. But the extent to which we have seen some evangelists work, suggests that the will and power of God is not a part of the process, and that the real key to winning souls is the enthusiasm of the evangelist.

I believe that God wants us to tell the truth, to open the scriptures and to explain the gospel as fully as we can, but when we have done so, we are to leave the rest to His omnipotent will.

The evangelistic team that we see working here in this chapter begins with the “queen” who encourages Belshazzar to meet Daniel. There is not one of us in this room who couldn’t be like this woman. Then there is the prophet of the Lord who expounds the Word of God before the sinner. And then there is the Lord who is the real key to the reception or rejection of the gospel message or of the revelation of God.