3 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.
4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
6 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.
What's God's is God's
My son had to read the story of the 'Handwriting on the Wall' recently for school. There was a synopsis in his book but it wasn't very well written, so we opened the book of Daniel and began reading the true story.
As we were reading, the Holy Spirit led me to hone in on the verses above and I was drawn to follow up on this misuse of the vessels. Even in the world, the idea of 'reading the handwriting on the wall' is a pretty common story. We've come to interpret it as understanding that when something forboding is about to happen, we should be able to read the signs. This is where this story rested with me for a long time.
But this time, for the first time for me, the emphasis was not on what Daniel read on the wall, but why Belshazzar, the king was in trouble in the first place.
His crime was not only that he stole the holy vessels out of the temple, but he defiled them by using them for purposes other than in worship of the one true God. The Word testifies that God is a jealous God. He would not tolerate this king's arogance in misusing vessels that had been sanctified for holy use. If He is that protective of things, how much more protective do we think He would be over us? The one's for whom He sacrificed His only begotten Son in order to redeem?
Jesus told the disciples directly, and us by recording, that after He left His earthly ministry, the Holy Spirit would come and dwell within and among us. Paul reminded us in his letters to the Corinthians that we were bought with a price and our bodies are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. We belong to God and we are sanctified (or set aside) for the use of worshipping God. We are God's, and He is concerned about how we keep HIS vessel.
If we have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, we belong to God. So, it is on us to honor the contract. Yes, we still have thoughts and desires and dreams and plans and ideas. But, it is our duty to examine each and every one of them and decide to yeild to the will of the Father. Some things may over lap. Others may have to wait. And others may have to be put down altogether. This is what is meant by presenting our bodies as 'living sacrifices' (Romans 12:1-2).
Dear ones, it's time to read the handwriting on the wall in our own lives. Consider where we've taken these vessels of God. What we've done with them. Some reports we'll gladly share. Others aren't worthy of daylight let alone the blood of Christ. BUT, with new mercies every morning, there is a new opportunity to be obedient today. There is a new opportunity to move into discipleship today. There is a new opportunity right now to stop whatever has been done in darkness and to move into His marvelous light.
Let's walk in the light.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 John 1:5-7
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
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