LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS
“But you, Belshazzar, his son, have not humbled yourself though you knew all this. 23 Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives, and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. 24 Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription. 25 “This is the inscription that was written: mene, mene, tekel, parsin 26 “Here is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. 27 Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. 28 Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” 29 Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom. 30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians,[h] was slain, 31 and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.” (Daniel 5:22—31)
Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, became king after his dad. His dad was a proud king and was significantly humbled by God. King Nebuchadnezzar repented his pride, declared God as God, honored him, and humbled himself by acknowledging God as equal to none. His son Belshazzar saw all the acts of God and what happened to his father and yet chose to become prideful and defiant in the face of God.
Belshazzar defiled the goblets from the temple; he and his friends have no regard for the things of God. And while he and his friends have no respect for what is holy to God, partying away, a HAND SUDDENLY appeared. Belshazzar became white and fearful of what it might be. No one was found to be able to tell the king what the writing on the wall meant. Not his wise men, magicians, or fortunetellers were able to interpret.
Daniel was found, and he told the king of his pride. Daniel told the king what happened to his dad and what drove him to be among the animals. And you king, although YOU KNEW ALL THIS, you have not humbled yourself. INSTEAD, you have SET YOURSELF UP AGAINST THE LORD OF HEAVEN.
Belshazzar KNEW ALL THAT HAPPENED TO HIS FATHER but INSTEAD set himself up against the Lord of heaven. It doesn’t pay well to ignore what others have done that I should learn from; that is evil. Pride never always invites the wrath of God. Humility always receives the grace of God. So many times, people ignore the prideful behavior of others and choose to follow them.
All of us are given writing on the wall of the consequences of our behavior if we choose not to change. God doesn’t have to write out a message to warn us on the wall if we pay attention to the sin that others are committing around us. There are enough life lessons of pride and choices that people have made for us to learn and change our ways. We have no excuse because God has messages written all around us to cause us to make the right choices and behave right.
What message are you reading now from the lives of others or on the wall of your own life that you must not ignore? We are left without an excuse. Belshazzar consciously chose to ignore what happened to his father, King Nebuchadnezzar, and continue to live to do evil. At least his father dared to humble himself and return to God.
I choose to repent and get my heart right with God and behave as I should in my mind and action. God loves those who are humble and pours out his grace on whosoever humble themselves before him. I choose to glean and learn from others to make wise choices and live right.
Jesus, thank you for reminding me that pride invites your wrath, and humility will cause you to pour out your grace upon my life. Please continue to clothe me with your humility. Could you help me learn from examples of others’ behavior pleasing to you? Please help me to walk in true humility before you and others. Teach me to continue to fear you and walk in a manner worthy of your calling in my life. Help me know what is holy and common so I may know what honor and bring glory to you. Amen!