Daniel 5:2-6, 25-31 (ESV)
Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. 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.” Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.
When we get to thinking about how great we are. Whatever our skills and abilities, blessings and things, we should remember the lesson that this passage in Daniel teaches. Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar should have paid attention to the lesson his father had learned the hard way, spending seven years eating grass like a wild ox, but he did not. Instead he became so haughty that he used the sacred vessels from God’s Temple for his common use.
How much do we do this in our daily lives? Do we take the glory and honor that is God’s and think that we deserve praise for what happens in our lives? It is God Who gives glory and honor to whom He chooses. When things go well for us, we should give glory to God for His blessing. We should not seek accolades.
When things have gone well in my life, it has always been because God has blessed me. Sometimes it is because He gave me talents and abilities, other times it is despite my ineptness, that He has blessed me. Whichever it was, it was always because He chose to bless me and make things go well for me. Sometimes I have failed to give credit to God. But I choose now to give Him glory, and will continue to give Him the glory. When left on my own, I mess things up.
Jesus warned us that when we make plans, we should say, “If the Lord allows, I will do this or that.” Yet how many times do we say, “I am going to do this or that.”? We forget that it is the Lord that even lets us get up each day.
Let us remember that the Lord orders our steps, and brings us blessings. Let us remain cognizant of the blessings the Lord has given us. As we go about the day the Lord has given us, let us praise God for His marvelous gifts. Let us live in gratitude and humility, lest the Lord send a hand to write on our walls. Personally, I would rather have God say at the end of my days, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into My rest.”
by Virgil Stripes