And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But 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: – Daniel 5.22-23
Just before this section Daniel praised Nebuchadnezzar for his turning to the true God. Part of what Nebuchadnezzar did was to be humbled by God and acknowledge him.
‘But you his son, Belshazzar,’ Daniel said, ‘have not humbled yourself, even though you knew all about this.’
We read in an earlier chapter ‘those who are full of pride God is able to bring low.’ Belshazzar chose to worship gods who pleased him, not the God who holds man’s breath in hands and own all man’s ways. Belshazzar ‘lifted up himself against the Lord of heaven.’
Belshazzar was a lot like a lot of people. God is way down the priority list for most of the world. Folks may not drink wine from holy vessels, but they often put themselves before God. The world refuses to acknowledge the God who holds their breath in His hand.
The eventual state of all men who exalt themselves above God is the same. One day every man will stand before God to give account of his life. Those who exalt themselves God will judge like He did Belshazzar.