Have you ever been confronted with something that foreshadowed a future event? For example could you look at the behavior of animals before a storm was approaching? Or could you tell a relationship would turn sour before you dived in headfirst? We've all been faced with signs that we have all looked over for one reason or another. We often find it hard to trust our gut instincts although we know it's the right thing to do. Honestly, when has your gut instinct ever stirred you wrong? Ok, when has God ever stirred you wrong??? He hasn't.
Today's reading in Daniel chapter 5 focuses on King Belshazzar (King Belsh), the son of King Nebuchadnezzar (King Neb), and his encounter with the writing on the wall. King Belsh can be seen drinking wine and praising materialistic gods in celebration. He is no different than the rest of us. King Belsh praised the god of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. We praise music artists, sneakers, clothes, money, and food. Often times we don't feel complete without something to show for which in today's society seems to rely heavily on money. What we fail to realize is that these material things that we find time to praise eventually fades away. However, God's love and power is constant. Are you like King Belsh in that you turn away from God and worship idols that were not made to love you back?
What happens when we get beside ourselves when God blesses us? He can swiftly take it all away in a heartbeat. He can even instill in us fear...fear to the point where that's all we need to straighten up our act. We've all been there. I remember I was in college and partying too hard and straying too far and God had to pull the reigns on me. Now that I'm older I can understand the importance of his love for me in that he had to humble me down from who I wanted to be into who HE wanted me to be. I believe that his love for me (even when I didn't acknowledge him) saved my life and led me to place that I'm at with him right now.
So what happened when King Belsh was interrupted by fear in the midst of his celebration? The scriptures say that fingers of a human appeared and wrote on the plaster. When the hand did, the King's face turned pale and of course all types of fear overcame him. The only person who could read this message was Daniel because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Daniel's ability to have visions interpreted by God reminds me of an intervention. Have you ever had an intervention or saw one on television? The ones who have to have one never want to face their problems but it's the people who are around them and love them who realize how important an intervention would be in order to save their life. That's what God was doing for King Belsh. He had to scare him just enough to warn him and to inform him how far removed he was becoming from Christ. We never want to get to that point where pride consumes our every thought. Life with God isn't always easy, however I'd rather live a life with him than without him.
Do you pay attention to the signs that God gives to others around you? There is this saying that an ounce of experience is more than a pint of advice. I believe this to be true in some aspects, however I'm a firm believer that everything does not have to be experienced in order to teach me a lesson. I have been able to learn from others and I thank them for being great teachers. For example, my mother is a single parent and although she does an amazing job at being the strongest mother known to man, that is something that I don't want for myself. In addition, I have friends with children and although there is nothing bad about it (most of them are extraordinary parents), that is something that I don't want for myself right now. I feel like I have witnessed the struggles and if some things/experiences can be avoided then I will try to avoid them and take alternative routes. Some things I would just rather be more established to experience but that's my own take on life.
King Belsh refused to pay attention to the shortcomings of his father King Neb. According to the scriptures, "But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. 21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes. (Daniel 5:20-21). When King Neb became so far removed from God he was punished and humbled; he went from a King to essentially a homeless man. The same thing happened to King Belsh. He refused to humble himself as well and did not learn from the experience of his father. In response, God numbered his days and, "That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two." (Daniel 5:31).
Sometimes we need a constant reminder of who is in control of our lives. It isn't silver, gold, clothes, money, or even music. GOD IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE IN CONTROL. My prayer is that we will all open our eyes and pay attention to The Writings on the Wall that God gives us. Don't let pride become your downfall. Live life with God at the forefront and learn from the experiences of others in the process.
It's Never Too Late To Transform Your Tuesdays :)
Transforming Tuesday: Jamera