““But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your Lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified. Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written. “And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain.”
Daniel 5:22-30 NKJV
I have found that God places many examples in the lives of believers, to serve as cautions, alerting of dangers and repercussions should one ignore what He has warned us against. Sometimes, it is the dangers of pride, of being lifted up to the degree that one feels above reproach, or too high to be taken down.
Yesterday, I wrote about Nebuchadnezzar, and his encounter with the Sovereign God. He stood proud, relishing his accomplishments, and was brought low to the level of the beasts of the field. He did not acknowledge God. As he went through all of the humiliation and suffering, his family was witness, including his son Belshazzar.
Belshazzar ignored the cautionary tale of his father, being so drunk with pride that he chose to take the holy things of God, meant for the temple, defiling them, as he and his pals partied into the night. He had learned nothing. The Old Testament stands as a caution for the New Testament believer, as it is full of types and shadows of spiritual significance.
“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
I Corinthians 10:11-13 NKJV
Just as Belshazzar was tempted and seduced by his own pride, so too can we be drawn away after our own. One of the great things about being in the body Christ, and having the word of God, is that we are surrounded by living and Scriptural examples to serve as caution tape, marking the boundaries between what is sin and what is not, and showing the consequences should be ignore those boundaries.
Through my own spiritual life, I have been a watcher. I learned much from the people who had been in the faith for a long period of time, as they were my forerunners. Through the years, I have had wonderful examples of followers of Jesus, and sadly, many examples of those who did not follow the Lord, and failed miserably, with regularity, ultimately leaving the faith altogether.
I have looked upon those who have failed with great caution, taking note of the tape surrounding their spiritual corpses. I have sought to learn and apply to my own life, heeding the caution tape.
Aside from ignoring those examples, a greater sin is mocking those who have failed. One must remember that we enjoy the grace of God, and as others fall, so can we. It is a blessing to help the fallen, restoring them to a fail walk.
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
Galatians 6:1-3 NKJV
Thinking oneself superior to one who has stumbled is a recipe for your own fall.
Brothers and sisters, let us walk humbly before the Lord, as we are His workmanship, forgiven and saved, for His glory. Let us also remember that we are on mission, representing Jesus before a sin-sick world, yearning for salvation.
The world needs to see more Nebuchadnezzars, and fewer Belshazzars amongst those who have called upon Jesus for salvation. Proceed with caution, my people, minding the tape and clinging to the word of God.
For this world, the writing is on the wall. It is nearing its end, it is found wanting, and hopelessly divided. Let us go boldly into the world bringing the great message of reconciliation in Christ Jesus.
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”
I Corinthians 15:3-4 NKJV
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