2014-10-10 - Belshazzar
Warning Against the Misappropriating of the Holy
Originally Published 2011-06-03
Daniel 5:1-6, 25-28
- Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
- Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
- Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
- They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
- In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
- Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
- And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
- This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
- TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
- PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
These cups are the holy things. The danger of the Korathites was in not doing what is right, with that which is holy. The danger of Belshazzar is in doing what is wrong with that which is holy. Belshazzar took the holy things for God's table, and used them as common things at man's table. There are Christians like Belshazzar in our local church, here and throughout the body of Christ. They waste their talents on man, rather than using them for God.
It never ceases to amaze me how singers will sing vulgar lyrics and dance lewdly, and then when they win an award, they want to thank God. If they really wanted to thank God, they'd be using their abilities to encourage and edify the church, instead of tempt its members. But I'm guilty of taking the resources God gives to me and squandering it away. I, and so many others, find it easy to justify being couch potatoes, but if I could be doing something for God, aren't I really just wasting God's time? If I don't study for Sunday school lessons as I should, haven't I taken God's time and made it my time? Aren't I using holy time for common things? Am I not as guilty as Belshazzar for misappropriating the holy? Now I'm not saying you can't watch TV, relax, and do recreational things. No, I'm not saying that at all. God wants us to have downtimes; the Sabbath of rest was God's plan from the beginning, but rest time implies there must be some work time, too.
You are God's. You are holy. Will you respect what is set aside for God and live holy lives? Will you be separate? Will you serve? Or do you prefer to be counted as a careless Korathite or a belligerent Belshazzar. As I said, I know we can't all teach. We aren't all preachers. God gives us each a task, and with it the abilities to do that task or tasks.
God didn't give me the gift of ministering. I love others, but I'm not a hospital-going, sick-visiting person. I don't remember who has what health problem or when tests are being done. My wife is good with that. She has that gift. I don't even like to make calls. It's not my calling, so I have no peace with it; it is downright painful for me. Even though I'd like to be more expressive of concern, I'm not.
God didn't give me the gift of intercession, either. If someone tells me a need, I will try to pray for their need as often as it crosses my mind. But that may just be once, when I'm first asked. I pray for people, but I'm not a prayer warrior by any means.
Hopefully you all agree that God gave me the ability to communicate, whether through spoken or written word. If you don't agree, I'll just wake you when I'm done. One day, God may open the door for me to be a published author, ordained preacher, or even a pastor - but I'm not to wait until then. I am to do what I can, with the holy things entrusted to me right now.
God made the universe and all in it, so in that sense, we all belong to God. If you've never expressed sorrow for living for yourself and for sinful pleasure, and given yourself to God, you are misusing God's holy things for yourself like Belshazzar - and like him, you will be weighed and found wanting. If you gave your life to God, but are not wholly doing all you can for Him, you are mishandling God's holy things. Only things of God will last; Jesus tells us in Matthew 16:25, that to find life we must lose it, or surrender it. If you want eternal life, give your life to him. If you want an eternal legacy, give your service to him. Many of the old Testament books like Numbers and the Chronicles are filled with family lines. For some, there is a sentence or two. Those short sentences have been their legacy for thousands of year. What will your sentence be? Will it indicate that you lived a holy life committed to God - or that you did your own thing?
Now back to the rock, paper, and scissors - all these things are holy. They all belong to his church and thus to God. If I used the scissors as a hammer and broke them, that would be wrong, right? I know better that to do that. I know they were made for cutting paper, not for use as a sledgehammer. When they broke, you would say I had misused or mishandled them. If I went and dug a big hole in the ground outside just for my amusement, that would be wrong, right? You might think I was crazy to enjoy digging a big hole, but you'd also say I had vandalized the grounds. If I grabbed the toilet paper and took it home, that would be wrong as well. You'd say I had misappropriated or stolen it. Even if I replaced it later, it would still be stealing, right? Now if we treat these things as they should be , and recognize the errors in what I've said, shouldn't we do the same with our lives? Is any human life worth less than a pair of scissors or a roll of paper?
No, and our service to God is more sacred than these things, so let us act that way.
Ask yourself this question: Do you really surrender all? "All to Him, do you freely give?"1 Or do you desecrate, destroy, and detract from the holy?
- I Surrender All, Judson W. Van DeVenter, 1896
All scripture references are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.
CFD | October 2014
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