Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?
Daniel had been within this culture of Babylon at odds with him and His God, across several administrations, having been there longer now, than he had been with his own people before the captivity. And in this he was consistently faithful, faithful in prayer, faithful with the dietary laws and other observances, and his witness helped turn the head and the heart of the former king Nebuchadnezzar, although not so much his successor Belshazzar.He remained faithful even with being elevated to a high governing position, never relinquishing the God of his upbringing, and the ways of the Hebrews, of which he was one. "HE [the LORD] prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies." (Psalm 23:5a) Daniel rested upon the reality of a real, and able God, whose presence was as insulation for his three friends to the naturally irresistible flames of an oven meant for men, sparing them. "Because the LORD is my shepherd, I have everything I need." (Psalm 23:1) So now, contrary to a distinctive Babylonian edict, Daniel prays publicly, to his God. There's a cost to this. There's a future with lions. We in a way are called to be not social Christians, but Kingdom Christians in the manner of Daniel.
There was a time in my life when being Christian meant going to church for ninety minutes [and twenty two seconds] on Sunday, being respectful of my elders, being nice, doing well in school, being mindful of my parents and that was it, along with avoiding bad influences. Saying 'grace' before eating when at home was typical, as was bedtime prayers. For us kids, Christmas and Thanksgiving were our moments -- big gifts on the one hand, and big eats on the other, coupled with freedom from school, sleeping in, and playing. This was being a social Christian, which by my estimate was more usual than not, and routinely accepted. No 'daring to be a Daniel' here.
The message given Belshazzar by that unexpected, airborne hand, interpreted by Daniel, could've well applied to us all: "...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." Daniel 5:25-28
Before Daniel broke the law [of the new ruler] by praying to God in public view, he had offered a prophecy to the former ruler Belshazzar [by interpreting a mysterious writing] which thereafter that reprobate king found his life taken [as 'written'] and his kingdom snatched. Prior to the takeover, Belshazzar and many others were partying hard, steeped in their idolatrous ways, and worse, showing their contempt for God, by desecrating the God ordained religious symbols, using the stolen temple utensils as part of their getting drunk and unruly. They essentially flaunted their disbelief. One could say that this was the best, worst, and last hour of Belshazzar; best [from his fallen view] because it was the best party ever, worst because it was the 'best party' ever, and last because..."In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain" [by Darius the Median, the new and conquering king]. Daniel 5:30 We can assume the unrepentant Belshazzar was experiencing [while choosing badly] his best life, [benefitting from the broad mercy of God], because his subsequent experience past his partying, and his bodily death was eternal separation from God. "Thou art found weighed in the balances, and art found wanting"
More contemporarily, Kool and the Gang asked the right question, with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" [whereby I scuffed up many a floor], but with it's prologue offering up the wrong answer, that each of us must [take the weight], it has to be relegated in time as simply a dance tune. For the weight has been assumed by no less than God Himself, and through trusting in His work and His gospel, our profession and our possession through faith, will have us 'weighed' having the Spirit of Christ within us, by which we are not 'found wanting', but rather complete in Jesus. As He said, "It is finished."
So how shall we respond in this life and time, with our window open to the world?
Our witness, our prayerful posture, our unabashed celebration of God's sovereignty, our heavenly hope, all being raised up, through God's 'Yes', will be to the blessing of someone else, whether it's for us to see, or not. God has written a different message upon the walls of our hearts, and the message is good.
"For God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, [by grace ye are saved]; And hath raised us up together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come, He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus, for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God..."
Prayer: Dear LORD, for all that is on my plate right now, for all of the curious stirring within this world, and around me, [and even within me], help me to glorify You today, with this precious freedom that You've given. Gratefully Yours. Amen and Amen: Bless You Jesus: Amen!
(by Dr. McNeal Brockington)
Amen Dr Brockington! Thank you for sharing this passage of scripture in a relatable way. God be praised
Amen Bro. Brockington! Great message! To have the boldness and confidence of a Daniel is what I strive for.
Amen Dr. Brockington. I watched that movie several times (Hacksaw Ridge) Doss stood up to his convictions! He reminded me of Daniel. I want to strive to be like Daniel in these last days. Being bold everyday! Thank you for this devotion!
Amen &Amen . Thank you praise God.
Amen! "Dare to be a Daniel"
Amen Dr. Brockington! Great devotional!!
Amen my sis