Friday, May 21, 2010

The Hand Writing on the Wall...a lesson for today? (Daniel 5)

We all do it.
We all have a tendency to take important things for granted.
We have a tendency to forget lessons learned.

King Nebuchadnezzer had learned important things from his time with Daniel, and had humbled himself before "the God of Heaven" on a few occasions...

...but his son, Belshazzar? Not so much.

Did King Nebu forget to tell him? Did Beshazzar just roll his eyes thinking "whatever dad--god of heaven--got it". Don't know--we're not told.

(But parents, it does remind us how important it is to teach our children the things we've learned, especially about God and Spiritual things!...even if they do roll their eyes!)

King Belshazzar took even further steps of arrogance than his father had. King Nebu was guilty of arrogance and pride, exalting himself without giving any credit to the Lord. Belshazzar went even further. He started out with that arrogance, then added insult to it--he went and got some of the gold goblets which had been taken from the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem...and they drank wine out of them! This was one more way in which he was exalting himself above Daniel and Daniel's God...he was 'thumbing his nose' at Daniel's god--the Lord, God of Heaven. He was essentially saying 'Who's in charge NOW, huh? I've got control over the people...over the temple, and over the things that were dedicated to the Lord...I AM IN CHARGE!'

Bad move.

(Side point: Keep this in mind for future stuff from Daniel...when he starts prophesying about the "abomanation that causes desolation", it's this kind of thing--a ruler exalting himself over the God of heaven, misusing his temple (and, I believe, the church). One who's arrogance extends even to misusing the name of God...'him who has ears to hear, let him hear!')

Suddenly, in the midst of the party he's throwing, Belshazzar sees a human hand writing on a wall. THAT would be freaky! Not only that, but it's a language he doesn't know.

He panics and calls in all the wise men, etc...but no one can read it. Finally his mother reminds him about Daniel, "who has the spirit of the holy gods in him" (v. 11) Belshazzar calls for Daniel.

Daniel's news is not good for King Belshy...

Daniel reminded King Belshy about all that King Nebu (his father) had learned about humilty before God...and he said "You his son have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this...instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of Heaven" (vv.22-23).

Because he had exalted himself so high, because he had the nerve to misuse the name of God, because he had (by using the items dedicated to God in the temple) shown contempt for God and arrogance...his kingdom was going to be removed from him and given to the Medes and the Persians.

It was done...THAT VERY NIGHT!

Whenever we exalt ourselves above God...whenever we take his blessing for granted, we are ASKING to be humbled.

But if a leader--in the Church or in Politics--exalts himself above God and misuses faith, misuses the Church, or misuses anything that rightfully belongs to God, that leader is showing the height of arrogance, and is asking to have his own "hand writing on the wall" moment.

May we never be so arrogant and so stupid...instead, may we all--and each and every one of our leaders--humble themselves before the Lord.

...keep this in mind...

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