28 Sep Weighed and Found Wanting
Last Sunday, Pastor Jeremy led our time with a charge from Acts 1:6-14 and helped us to explore the many opportunities that God is providing us to fulfill His mission to make disciples of all nations. Whether we are called to uproot and move to a foreign country or stay right here in Clemson, we are ALL called to be on God’s mission through praying, giving, and going.
Read: Daniel 5
This Sunday, Pastor Ken will continue our Daniel series with chapter 5, where Belshazzar sees the mysterious hand that writes a message of divine judgment upon the palace wall. In spite of the clear example of Belshazzar’s predecessor (Nebuchadnezzar) in chapter four, Belshazzar stiffens his neck in defiance of the Most High God, even to the point of desecrating the holy vessels of the temple.
The divine inscription came about in the midst of Belshazzar’s desecrating act of using the temple vessels as his own personal wine glasses during a party, where they even “drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone” (v. 4). Once again, Daniel is summoned to interpret the mysterious inscription. This time, however, there is no mercy to be found but only judgment. “This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians . . . . That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed” (vv. 26–30).
Just as with Nebuchadnezzar, we must examine our own hearts again in light of Belshazzar’s folly. In what ways are we tempted to defy God in spite of his clear warnings to us? As you prepare your heart for our corporate gathering, pray that God would reveal any ways you are being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin and lead you to repentance and faith. Let these words from David Helm encourage you as you pray.
For Belshazzar and his hardened heart, the game was over. The writing had been on the wall. But, it is not so for us. As the curtain falls on Babylon, it does so with a lesson for us all. You and I are to walk in humility; we are to honor God. Who among us can read this chapter and not be warned again of the hubris [excessive pride] of the human heart? As Jeremiah foretold, it is deceptive above all things. With relative ease, we can lift up our hearts against God. May we be kept from Belshazzar’s sin on that fateful night! May we never live in a way that raises a “toast” to our own “gods”! May we never throw back our heads in delighted defiance, neck stiff to the sky, pretending to have a firm grip on God.
Instead, take note of the central theme of this chapter: “The Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will” (v 21). As the story of the Bible unfolds, it becomes obvious that the person God the Father has set over it is his own Son, Jesus of Nazareth. And wonderfully, he drank the cup of God’s wrath for his people (Luke 22:41-42), that he might offer us a place with him, drinking with him in his eternal kingdom (v 17-18). You and I are called to ask him to drink the cup of God’s wrath for us, by faith, lest we too, be judged. Have you repented of lifting up your heart against him? If not, you will one day fall under the mighty hand of God. So, repent and believe the gospel. Put away the libations of the human heart. And make room in your heart for him.
Excerpt from Daniel for You, by David Helm.
Sing: Song List for Sunday
1. “Who You Say I Am,” by Hillsong Worship
2. “Come Thou Fount,” by David Crowder Band
3. “What a Beautiful Name,” by Hillsong Worship
4. “The Passion,” by Hillsong Worship