Thursday, November 22, 2012

Your time is up!

Daniel Interpreting the Writing on the Wall by Gustave Dore
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Daniel 5:13-31

TO CHEW ON: "'But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this.'" Daniel 5:22

What was Daniel reminding Belshazzar that he knew? It was the whole story of his forefather Nebuchadnezzar and how he had gone from being a king no one dared defy (Daniel 5:19) to an insane creature who lived outdoors like an animal. It was only when Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged that God was supreme over even him that his kingdom was restored to him.

Belshazzar had not learned a thing from Nebuchadnezzar's life. Instead, Belshazzar's reign was worse in that he not only ignored God but blasphemed Him, using the sacred temple vessels captured from Jerusalem in drunken orgies of praise to the Babylonian gods.

The message on the wall (Daniel 5:25-28) was God's sudden and unchangeable verdict.

The way God is portrayed here reminds me of the way C.S. Lewis describes Aslan, the lion (symbolic of Jesus) in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe: "He's not safe, but he's good."

In both Old and New Testaments, God shows Himself good in His long-suffering - Numbers 14:18; Psalm 78:38; Romans 9:22; 2 Peter 3:9.

But His judgment, when it comes was for Belshazzar and will be for us:
  • swift - Matthew 24:27
  • unexpected - Matthew 24:36-42
  • inevitable - Matthew 24:35,44.

Leslyn Musch sums it up well in her "Truth-In-Action Through Daniel" article:
"Understand that a day of accounting will come for your actions and choices. Receive Jesus' righteousness on your behalf (Romans 3:10-28). Embrace humility and holiness. Seek by the power of the Holy Spirit to live a life that honours and glorifies the Lord" - Leslyn Musch, New Spirit-Filled Bible, p. 1141.

Dear God, please help me not to take Your patience as indifference but to believe Your every word about a day of reckoning ahead. Amen.

MORE: "That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain" - Daniel 5:30
"The account which Xenophon ('Cyrop.' vii. s.) gives of the taking of Babylon. and of the death of the king - though without mentioning his name, agrees so well with the statement here, that it may be regarded as a strong confirmation of its correctness. After describing the preparation made to take the city by draining off the waters of the Euphrates, so as to leave the channel dry beneath the walls for the amy of Cyrus, and after recording the charge which Cyrus gave to his generals Gadatas and Gobryas, he adds, 'And indeed those who were with Gobryas said that it would not be wonderful if the gates of the palace should be found open,' as the whole city that night seemed to be given up to revelry" - Barnes Notes on the Bible - Read entire.


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