Yesterday at Saar Fellowship we looked at Daniel 5, and as usual we wants to know “What does this all mean for you today, what do you need to do about this now in 2020?”
Well, as Belshazzar needed to have paid more attention to what happened before and to have acted accordingly in the “now” for him, so do we (Daniel 5.22). In 1940 Louis Talbot wrote this,
“If God held Belshazzar responsible, [friends], for the ray of light which shone across his pathway, what will He say to [us now] living in the blaze of light which illuminates the world today? We have today the complete revelation of God to man in the Bible. We have the cross of Jesus—long ago a fact of history. It is a serious thing to reject God-given light…”
What he is saying there is take advantage of the light that is shining now. In this encounter with God’s Word today from Daniel 5 we are Belshazzar: the broken and self-centred, God-ignoring, self-exalting, partying person. We are not Daniel: the righteous and right, message-from-God-bringer. We’re Belshazzar here, not Daniel.
Belshazzar needed to look back to a major point (all that happened to Nebuchadnezzar) to learn from it and draw a conclusion for today. We too need to look back to a major point, to learn from it, and draw a conclusion for today. We need to look back to the incarnation, the birth, the life, the ministry, the death, the resurrection, the ascension, and the promises of Jesus. If you can’t, in an orthodox, right, and proper way articulate and explain those things and what they mean for you today then it’s time to look back and learn, as Belshazzar should have done!
Daniel 5 teaches us that not learning from the past is inexcusable.
As a believer in Jesus you have thousands of years of revelation and information to learn from. So, what have you learned? What have you not learned? That’s an impossible question to answer because we don’t know what we don’t know, right? But, are you humble enough to admit that you don’t know everything? Are you humble enough to admit that, actually, some of what you think of as the fundamentals of your faith are actually taught traditions that have no place in God’s Word and should have absolutely no bearing on your life?
Is it time for a refresher on the fundamentals of your faith?
Is it time for you to go deeper in your understanding of your faith?
Is it time for you to learn the who, the what, the where, the when, the why, the how of your faith?
By the time Belshazzar was confronted with the truth that he needed to have learnt from the past it was too late. That very night his time was up: he had been numbered, weighed, and divided (Daniel 5.25-30). For you and me, it’s not too late. One day it will be. But not today.
Your first step from Daniel 5 is to look back: look back to the cross and accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. If you have never done that but you’re about to, please reach out to us today.
If you have already done that then your step from Daniel 5 is to look back and learn: from Jesus, about Jesus, with Jesus, for Jesus.