Wednesday, August 17, 2011
We’re still in the book of Daniel in Sunday School. Way past the time he explained a couple of dreams to Nebuchadnezzar. You remember, the ones that gave attention to his God. We’ve ceased to hear of his three companions following their deliverance from the fiery furnace.
Seems as though all of that has been forgotten. We’ve moved from Chapter 4 where Nebuchadnezzar’s voice tells of that second dream and in Chapter 5 we have a new king, Belshazzar. And, he’s having quite a party.
Reminds me a bit of the book of Esther. Surrounded by those he wishes to admire him, he decides to show off. Instead of attempting to display the beauty of a wife, Belshazzar picks instead the treasures of God’s temple. He shouldn’t have.
We aren’t told at this point what was written, but the sight of a disembodied hand writing on the wall was sufficient to focus the attention of a drunken king. As twice before in the book of Daniel, the cry went out:
The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. (Daniel 5:7a KJV)
Why didn’t he just call for Daniel? It had been a while, a couple of kings between Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, and Daniel had been forgotten. Leave it to a woman to remind a man of what he should have known. His mother described the man who helped Nebuchadnezzar:
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. (Daniel 5:12 KJV)
I particularly like “shewing of hard sentences.” Maybe even a bit more than “dissolving of doubts.” Have we ever dissolved anyone’s doubts? Are we known as a person another can turn to, one who has knowledge and understanding? One who can handle the hard stuff?
Don’t just look at Daniel’s ability to interpret dreams. That’s a God given gift, just as his prophecy in later chapters. It is the building of an excellent spirit, just as Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself spiritually, that can be within us.
We decide whether or not we will be pure before our God. We decide whether to study His word or to ignore Him. We decide what to do with our bodies, to turn them over to His will or to show off what we can.
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. (Daniel 5:25-28 KJV)
We, too, will be weighed in the balances. Will we be found wanting?