Posted August 1, 2009
Let us turn again our attention to the book of
Daniel where we have been looking at a study of ‘Big God Theology’.
I want to begin to look at Chapter 5 where we find that ‘He Is A
God Of Retribution’. Many see God as a celestial Santa Claus
throwing everyone candy kisses. I hear some say my God’s not like
that or my God wouldn’t do that. You are probably right. Your God
wouldn’t but the God of the Bible would. The word ‘retribution’
means a reward or punishment suitable to the action done. It seems
like from the definition as well as born out in life, there is a
good and bad retribution.
This chapter deals with
Nebuchadnezzar’s son Belshazzar who has taken over the kingdom at
the time of his fathers’ death. Let us turn our thoughts to Chapter
5 and verses 1-4 and ‘The Lawlessness Of Rebellion’. In
verse 1 I find ‘The Discernment Of Wisdom’. I fear Belshazzar
had the groundwork for discernment laid when his father was chained
and eating grass for seven years.
There is no reason for this grand
party to entertain the thousands. It was purely for pleasure. I am
not surprised. Every generation has been a pleasure and amused
crazed people and this was no different. The wisdom to have this
party is not that which comes from above but below. James said, ‘The
wisdom from above is first pure and then peaceable. It produces the
fruits of righteousness.’
In verse 2 I find ‘The
Desecration Of Worship’. Belshazzar took the gold and silver
vessels that were set aside for worship and used them in a time of
pleasure. His father brought them home from the Temple when Israel
fell into captivity. Let us be careful of using eternal things in a
temporal setting. Don’t sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the
temporal. Oh, how often we are guilty of putting the temporal above
the eternal. It is extremely dangerous.
In verses 1b, 2c, 3c, and 4 I find
‘The Drinking Of Wine’. How often in a time of pleasure man
desires to numb himself with the drinking of wine. I have heard all
the arguments trying to convince us that drinking wine is all right.
Proverbs 31:4-5 says, “It is not for kings to drink wine…Lest
they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment…” The
text is telling us that drinking can lead to a lack of discernment.
John tells us in Revelation 1:6 that God has made us both kings and
Let us remember we can numb
ourselves with pleasure and drink if we like. We can overlook our
failures and shortcomings because of a lack of discernment but do
remember he is a God of Retribution.