Scripture Reading: Daniel 5:1-4
“Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.” (Daniel 5:3,4)
We come to the end of the Babylonian Empire. Until this point in history, it had become the most powerful empire in the world. The city of Babylon was considered invincible. However, its final rulers had forgotten what happened to the greatest king of the Babylonian Empire, King Nebuchadnezzar. God humbled him and he came to realize that his kingdom was not eternal, only the kingdom of the Most High God endures forever. The last words we have from King Nebuchadnezzar are — “For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation” (4:34).
King Belshazzar who is mentioned in this chapter of Daniel was actually the grandson of King Nebuchadnezzar. Belshazzar and his father, Nabonidus, were co-regents of the Babylonian Empire. Belshazzar was so arrogant that he shook his fist in the face of God. He took some of the sacred vessels that the Babylonians had removed from the temple in Jerusalem and misused them in one of his wild feasts. These vessels were used in worship and therefore they were sacred to God.
The king threw a wild party. In his drunken state, he ordered these vessels to be brought out. The people at the party drank wine from them and they praised pagan gods. They greatly dishonored God. In fact, they were guilty of blasphemy. Blasphemy is the act of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things. Blasphemy is a serious offense against God. God does not ignore those who dishonor Him.
I am amazed how many people dishonor God in our day. The words of Paul in Romans 1 describe them — “And since they do not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28). Some people today greatly dishonor God. They use His name in vain. They mock His Son Jesus. In effect, they are shaking their fists in the face of God. God will not ignore these acts of blasphemy. He will bring judgment upon those who dishonor Him.
We have all been guilty of dishonoring God at times. We fail to acknowledge Him as we should. But for those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ, God still loves us and He will forgive us. Because of His great love for us, it should be our greatest desire to honor God and to serve Him.
Lord God, I know there have been many times when I have not honored You as I should. I am so grateful for the redeeming work of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who bore my sins and died for them. Jesus, You bore so much mockery and great acts of blasphemy were committed against You. Yet You did not refuse to die for those who had sinned greatly against You. Thank You for being my Savior and Lord.
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