FAILING TO LEARN FROM THE PAST

Scripture Reading: Daniel 5:13-23

“And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, but you have lifted yourself against the Lord of heaven.” (Daniel 5:22,23b)

When none of the magicians and enchanters were able to interpret the handwriting on the wall, the queen mother (most likely King Nebuchadnezzar’s widow) told her grandson, King Belshazzar, about Daniel. She remembered that Daniel was a man of understanding and wisdom. She knew there was something different about Daniel. It was as though he had the “wisdom of the gods” (vs. 10-12).”

Daniel was brought before the king and the king said, “But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. 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” (v. 16).

Daniel stood before the king and said, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the wiring to the king and make known to him the interpretation” (v. 17). Daniel proceeded to remind the king what had happened to his grandfather, King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel told Belshazzar how God had given Nebuchadnezzar kingship and greatness. However, King Nebuchadnezzar’s heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened. God brought him down and his glory was taken from him until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom He will (vs. 20,21).

Then Daniel confronted King Belshazzar, “And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven” (vs. 22,23a). Belshazzar failed to learn from the past. Even though he knew all the things about his grandfather, Belshazzar became just like him before Nebuchadnezzar brought low by God. Belshazzar will filled with pride and he blasphemed the God of heaven.

It is important for us to teach our children and grandchildren the lessons we had to learn the hard way. We are to instruct them in the ways of the Lord — “so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God” (Psalm 78:7,8). It seems to me that King Nebuchadnezzar failed to do this and his sins passed on to his son and grandson. Let’s not make the same mistake with our children and grandchildren!

Lord God, enable me to be an example to my children and grandchildren. Let me teach them the things I have learned the hard way. Guard them from the sins and failures I have experienced. Let me teach them to set their hope on you and not to forget all that You have done for me and for them.

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