There's a last meal for each one of us. There's a final statement that will come from our mouth. There's a last breath for everyone, and then eternity. In the meantime, your life is being weighed in God's balances on God's scale.
What is it? All fluff? Is it substantive? Is there integrity there?
Is there depth there? God tries to get our attention that we might turn to Him throughout our life, but one day there will be no more time to respond, only to answer for how we responded. Today on Connect with Skip Hyten, Skip challenges you to consider if you are prepared to give account. And at the end of today's program, Skip and his wife, Langa, share how you can be ready for Judgment Day.
When you realize who you are before God and what He's forgiven you of, you can approach people who maybe have sordid backgrounds and you think, man, they're really under the grip of sin, but it allows you to really love them. Now, here's an offer that'll help you love your Bible studies and get the most out of your time in God's Word. Ready to upgrade your Bible study in 2023? We have a plan and a package for you. Skip Hyten's book, The Bible from 30,000 Feet, is an ideal companion for a survey of the entire scope of Scripture.
Here's a great goal for the coming year. Conduct a personal study of all 66 books as Skip Hyten guides you from a biblical altitude of 30,000 feet. We want to give you firm direction to unlock the riches of God's Word by sending you two resources from Pastor Skip, How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It, and The Bible from 30,000 Feet.
You'll gain helpful Bible study tools as you practice how to observe, absorb, and interpret the Bible, then apply it to your life. These two resources are our thanks for your gift today of $50 or more. Skip has asked the team at Connection Communications to make it a priority in 2023 to take the daily messages as you have heard them today and expand them into more metropolitan areas. Will you help us make that happen? And with your gift, you will receive copies of How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It and The Bible from 30,000 Feet, both books by Skip Hyten to kickstart your 2023 Bible study plans. Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer.
That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Now let's join Skip for today's program as we turn to Daniel chapter five. Could there be handwriting on the wall in your life? That is, has God been trying to get your attention for a while? Maybe a crisis, maybe a close call, an accident, but you're still here. Maybe a family related crisis, a work related crisis. You know, some people need sort of a shaking before God really gets a person's attention. In a crisis, the first question you're tempted to ask is how can I get out of this? Here's a new question you need to ask. What can I get out of this? Is God trying to say anything to me?
And if so, what? So a wild party, a weird picture, and now a wise prophet, verse 10. The queen, interesting, the queen, who is the queen?
Can't be his wife because it says in verse two that all his wives were at the party drinking it up with them. Just keep that thought in your mind. The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came to the banquet hall.
She hadn't been there till now. The queen spoke saying, oh king, live forever. Do not let the thoughts trouble you or your countenance change. There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy God. And in the days of your father or grandfather, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him. And King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, the king made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers. In as much as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, explaining enigmas, were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called and he will give the interpretation. Then Daniel was brought before the king. The king spoke and said to Daniel, are you that Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, who my father the king brought from Judah? I've heard of you, that the spirit of God is in you, that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. Now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me that they should read the writing and make known to me its interpretation.
But they could not give the interpretation of the thing. I think Daniel's yawning about now. He's heard these speeches before. And I have heard of you, that you can give the interpretation and explain enigmas. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be third ruler in the kingdom. It's amazing to me that Daniel that Belshazzar, the king of Babylon either didn't know who Daniel was or knew who Daniel was and has up to this point completely ignored him.
He certainly knew about the incident of his grandfather losing his mind. But Daniel is absent from this. He didn't even come to the feast. He's not in their club, the drunk leaders club.
He's not a part of that club. But later on he is summoned and he calls. He calls.
He's been called and he comes. Now what you have here is a picture of the world, the natural man and the Christian. The world doesn't want to hear what Christians have to say.
They certainly don't want to hear what preachers have to say. It's funny when I go to places and people introduce themselves and what do you do? I'm a doctor or I'm an engineer.
What do you do? I'm a pastor. Oh, they don't even know what to do with that in some cases. But you have already felt this in your life where people really aren't interested in what you believe as a Christian.
They don't even really care about what you think or have to say until the bottom drops out of their life and they'll come to you. I remember going to work when I worked in radiology in a hospital and I'd come and I'd hear these cracks, especially if I had a Bible. Oh, here comes the Christian with his Bible. And hey, we're going to have a party tonight. You probably don't want to come. You're going to have a Bible study. I heard all that stuff every day.
It was sort of this ongoing little mockery until they had a tragedy. Then they'd come find me and they'd get so humble. And could you pray for me? Of course, I'd love to pray for you.
In fact, I'd love to talk to you. Well, maybe later. Joseph Parker writes this, preachers of the word, you will be wanted someday by Belshazzar. You were not at the beginning of the feast, but you will be there before the banqueting hall is closed. The king will not ask you to drink wine, but he will ask you to tell him the secret of his pain and to heal the malady of his heart.
Abide your time. You're a nobody now, but the preacher will have his opportunity. They will send for him when all other friends have failed. All the other friends have failed Belshazzar. So Daniel has brought him. In verse 10, it says the queen came to the banquet hall.
I mentioned this couldn't be his wife. This is probably the queen mother, the queen mother, the mother of Belshazzar, the wife of Nabonidus, the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. Nabonidus took this woman, Nitocris is her name in history, took this woman as his wife, which gave him the right to rule because he wasn't from the lineage of Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar is her son. So verse 16, he pours it on. If you can read the writing and make known to me the interpretation, you will be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then Daniel answered and said before the king, let your gifts be for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Yet I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. At this point, Daniel's in his 70s or 80s. It has been that long since the beginning of the book.
He's been through all this stuff, been there, done that, don't want the gold, don't want the position, had it all, could care less about it, not tempted by it. Verse 18, O king, now just listen to this sermon. O king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty and glory and honor. And because of the majesty that he gave him, all peoples, nations, languages trembled before him. Whomever he wished, he executed. Whomever he wished, he kept alive.
Whomever he wished, he set up. And whomever he wished, he put down. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne and they took his glory from him. And he was driven from the sons of men and his heart was made like the beast.
His dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen and his body was wet with the dew of heaven until he knew that the most high God rules in heaven. He knew that the most high God rules in the kingdom of men and appoints over it whomever he chooses. But you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. Wow. You call for a man of God, expect a sermon.
Not a pat on the back. He didn't say, live forever. Long live the king because the king's going to die in a few hours. Daniel has predicted the fall of this kingdom so he just gets right to it.
Daniel, in this little sermon, levels three hefty charges against this king. Number one, charge number one, you have disregarded knowledge. You have sinned against knowledge. There are certain things you knew and you have pushed them aside. You knew about Nebuchadnezzar, your grandfather.
You knew what God did to him and how he glorified God at the end of that. You've known all this. You have disregarded knowledge.
God judges individuals and nations depending on the light of knowledge they have. Can I just say quit worrying about the pygmies who've never heard the gospel? I hear that all the time. What about the people who've never heard? You have heard. I have heard.
I have a different kind of a light. God made them. I'll let God worry about them.
I'm not worried. I want to get the gospel to them. Well, what about the people who've never had a Bible?
You have one. God judges us depending on the light we've received. How many sermons have you heard in your life? You think America will be judged for the light it has?
How much light does this country have? Hundreds of thousands of churches, millions of Christians. 2,500 Christian radio stations, full power. A hundred Christian television stations, full power. Sermon after sermon, truth after truth is accessible.
This nation has light and will be judged accordingly. Remember Jesus? He lived in Galilee, right? What town did he live in? What town did he live in? What was his headquarter town? It was Capernaum, right? He moved to Capernaum and set up shop there. And there were three little villages, Capernaum, Bethsaida and Korazin.
They're just little villages next to each other. They heard what Jesus said. They saw what Jesus did. And you know what?
They were indifferent to it. So one day, you know what Jesus did? This is what he said. Listen to what Jesus said. He said, woe unto you, Capernaum and Korazin and Bethsaida. You have been exalted up to heaven. You will be brought down to hell. For if the works that were done in you had been done in Sodom and Gomorrah, they would have repented long ago. You've been given a high status, been raised up to heaven. The son of God has been living in your town and you have not regarded him.
They were judged according to the light that they sinned against. So charge number one for Belshazzar, you've disregarded knowledge. Charge number two, you have defied the true God, verse 23, and you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of his house before you and your lords and your wives and your concubines have drunk wine from them. You didn't do this in ignorance.
You did this in defiance. You are shaking your fist at the God that you knew humbled your grandpa. This is some sermon.
Again, he's in his 70s, 80s, he doesn't care. Charge number three, not only have you disregarded knowledge, not only have you defied the true God, you have, number three, deified false gods. Look at the end of verse 23, and you have praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, stone, all the statues around Babylon, which do not see or hear or know, and the God who holds your breath in his hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified. King Belshazzar, you pray and sing to a bunch of statues. They can't answer back.
They can't hear a word you're saying. And what a contrast is it not to these statues and images in Babylon that were false, dead, and the living God who can write on a wall. One's living and powerful. All these gods are not.
Look at that phrase. It's so vivid. The God who holds your breath in his hand and owns all of your ways. It's quite a god.
In the 1800s, a man by the name of William Henley of Britain, a British humanist, secularist, poet, wrote a very famous poem called Invictus. I think some of you know it. Part of the words are, part of the words are, I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.
No, you're not. Because at the end of the line, William Henley, at the end of the line, Belshazzar, at the end of the line, everyone, you're going to have to deal with God who holds your breath in his hand and owns all of your ways. What a moment this must have been. Now we get to the final part of it, verse 24, a weighty pronouncement. Let's find out what this thing said and what it means. He continues, verse 24, the weighty pronouncement. Then the fingers of the hand were sent from him, and this writing was written. And this is the inscription that was written.
Mene, Mene, Tekel, Eufarsin. Means numbered, numbered, weighed, divided. Now he gives the interpretation. This is the interpretation of each word, Mene. God has numbered your kingdom and finished it. Why does he say Mene, Mene, numbered, numbered?
I think here's the vernacular to understand it. Your number is up. Your days are numbered. You're done. You're finished.
By the way, in a few hours, this king will be dead. His number's up. He's been numbered. You know, our days are numbered. Psalm 90 says, teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom. James puts it this way, our life is but a vapor. It's here for a moment, vanishes away. It is appointed into every man wants to die, and after this the judgment.
Our days are numbered. Second word, verse 27, Tekel, which means weighed. You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting. The word here, Tekel, weighed, means implies to weigh something on the scale and find it to be light. Here's God's standard.
You put something on the scale like his life, it's light. Let me interpret that for you. Belshazzar, you're a lightweight.
You are all fluff and no substance. The final word, Perez, it says you farce and you is the word for and, numbered, numbered, weighed, and divided. Perez, for your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.
Let me tell you what's happening at this very second. While this is going on, outside the walls of Babylon, the Medes and the Persians, as I mentioned, have surrounded the city. This very moment, a general by the name of Cyrus, who worked for Darius the Mede, the king, came up with an ingenious idea. He thought, well, the river Euphrates runs right to the town of Babylon.
It's an impregnable city. He had an idea. He dammed up the river upstream, diverting the river into a swamp.
The water level in town went down, down, down to about knee height. The entire army walked underneath the wall through the river, killed the guards, and by the time the party is over, the entire army of the Persians are in town. Your kingdom is divided, given to the Medes and the Persians.
Verse 30, that very night Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, was killed, slain, and Darius the Mede received the kingdom being about 62 years old. There's a last night for everyone. There's a last meal for each one of us. There is a final statement that will come from our mouth. There's a last breath for everyone, and then eternity.
In the meantime, your life is being weighed in God's balances, on God's scale. What is it? All fluff? Is it substantive? Is there integrity there?
Is there depth there? Because one day you will stand, not in a party hall, not in a royal hall with handwriting on a wall, but in a judgment hall, with handwriting in books. Revelation 20, the books were opened.
Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and anyone who has read the book of life and anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Boy, that's some handwriting. That's some handwriting.
Here's the good news. Colossians chapter 2, get this thought, says Jesus Christ has taken the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, and he took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. The handwriting on the wall that said, you're guilty, you're guilty, you're guilty, you're guilty, you're guilty.
Jesus took it upon himself and nailed it to the cross. So on that final day, that judgment day, for a lot of people, the party is over. But for other people, the party's just begun. Eternity will hold the biggest, coolest party ever.
But for some, the party's over. God's been trying to get your attention. Maybe this sermon, maybe this message, maybe he just said, I love you so much. I want to invade your life and show you what I have for you. I wonder what you'll say to him when you say, shut up, shut up. You're jamming my signal. I'm busy.
I'm working like they did on the Titanic. Or will you say, oh yeah, please take over my life. Quoting Colossians, that Christ has taken the ordinances against us and nailed them to the cross. Skip, how has this truth given you boldness to tell others about Christ while they still have an opportunity to respond? I love that scripture in Colossians. And I remember reading it when I was a very young believer. And I had a background that was kind of rooted in Christian ritual, rather than a relationship with Christ.
I didn't have one until I was 18. And so I remember reading that all of the ordinances, all of the legalistic commandments in the law that I could never keep, and all the finger pointing, that that's taken out of the way by Christ. And that made such an impact on me. So when I realize how much I've been forgiven and how low the Lord has stooped for me, when I walk in forgiveness, when I realize that I'm rooted in forgiveness, it gives me a sense of boldness because I'm not approaching somebody as being better than they are. The Bible says whoever loves much forgives much. And when you realize who you are before God and what He's forgiven you of, you can approach people who maybe have sordid backgrounds and you think, man, they're really under the grip of sin.
But it allows you to really love them and to approach them that way. People who suffer under a large degree of guilt, that giving them the opportunity that you don't have to carry that. He's nailed it to the cross. Whatever is continuing to make you guilty, do you recognize the freedom there is in Christ? That He took the ordinances against us and nailed them to the cross. And I feel like there's so many people in the world that are guilt motivated.
And just to see them and say, God can forgive that, God can take that away, that can be nailed down once and for all. And a fine point to make on that boldness issue, we're told in the scripture that we can come boldly before His throne to receive grace to help in time of need. So if we can go boldly before God for His grace, then we should boldly leave the throne of grace and approach others.
Because it's not our message we're bringing them, it's His. And when you realize I'm just the emissary, I'm just the mouthpiece, I'm just the messenger, but the message is important. And no matter where I'm at personally, this is what you need.
That's a great boldness to stand behind. Thank you, Skip and Lenya. We hope this conversation with Skip and Lenya challenged you to keep pursuing God and His truth. You can help encourage others through God's word with a gift to keep teachings like today's broadcast coming your way.
Will you help us make that happen? Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Tune in tomorrow as Skip examines God's call for you to be faithful. Connect with Skip Hyton is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-21 19:12:07 / 2023-01-21 19:21:32 / 9