Weighed in the balance…

I was studying the fifth chapter of the book of Daniel this week, which tells of an incident that occurred during a party over 2,500 years ago.    You see the King was throwing a party with all of his friends and all of the palace staff when he went too far….he mocked God and used the holy items which were stolen from the temple in Jerusalem in an ungodly way.   In fact King Belshazzar and his guests used these holy vessels and then gave praise to “the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone” (Daniel 5:4).  This portion of scripture is commonly known because of the “writing on the wall”, but as I was studying it this week, it was not just the hand writing on the wall, but the actual words that were written that grabbed my attention.

Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand emerged and began writing opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, and the king saw the back of the hand that did the writing. Then the king’s face grew pale and his thoughts alarmed him, and his hip joints went slack and his knees began knocking together.

The hand terrified the King and his guests as a message was written that nobody could understand.  Nobody understood the message.  None of the “great minds” of the day could tell the king what it means.   Nobody understood the words of warning.   None that is except for a prophet of the Lord named Daniel.

25 “Now this is the inscription that was written out: ‘MENĒ, MENĒ, TEKĒL, UPHARSIN.’ 26 This is the interpretation of the message: ‘MENĒ’—God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it.  27 ‘TEKĒL’—you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient.  28 ‘PERĒS’—your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.”

Daniel, the prophet of the LORD, was able to interpret the words which gives one of the saddest commentaries about anyone ever recorded (at least in my opinion).  The word that really stuck out to me was ‘TEKEL’.  This word actually means ‘weighed’ or ‘shekel’, but in context it means, you have been weighed in the balance and found deficient (or lacking).   Wow, did you catch that?   Daniel basically tells the King, you have been examined by God and you don’t measure up.  You have fallen short of what God has called you to.   You may be celebrating now, but punishment is coming quickly.

Those words stopped me in my tracks.  I had to ask myself the question, “what if God were to weigh me in the balance….would I be found lacking?”  The scary thing is that this is really not a hypothetical question because one day, we will ALL be judged, you know, literally “weighed in the balance”, by a HOLY GOD and will ALL be found lacking (Hebrews 9:27).  Remember God’s standard is perfection and none of us are perfect.   In fact, the Bible reminds us that ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)!

So are we to eat, drink and be merry until the time of our punishment as being perfect seems hopeless?  CERTAINLY NOT!  There is HOPE for all of us and HIS name is JESUS CHRIST!

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18, NASB95)

If we surrender our lives to JESUS, REPENT and TURN from our sin, allow HIM to be LORD OF ALL in our lives we have nothing to fear.  Being found lacking is the destiny of every living person – UNLESS we submit to JESUS and ask HIM to be LORD of our lives.    Romans 5:8 tells us that “…God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by HIS blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”

Don’t let today pass you by.   Won’t you surrender your life to HIM today?

God Bless,

Stephen

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