Being weighed and found lacking can be one of life's unpleasant experiences. Many of us can remember when we were the last person chosen for a ball game since we lacked the ability of some of the others. Often a subject in school was difficult for us, causing much distress, and hard work to catch up.
Adult life has its share of being weighed and found lacking as well. A losing warfare with addiction, a good marriage that just failed, children confused over why things can't be rectified, the losing of confidence in our ability to patch things up- they often add up to something that doesn't exist-a large minus.
Some of us have been weighed and found lacking in honesty and integrity, in our treatment of family and friends, in our responsibility to society, and in our choice of what we will live for. To come down to the bottom line of old age and realize that our life has been morally bankrupt or that it has caused others more pain than joy is similar to the tragedy that Belshazzar faced in the Bible.
"Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar has taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therin. 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. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosed, and his knees knocked one against another. The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom...And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."
Babylon was practically invincible, but, according to extra biblical records, the Persians were able to divert the Euphrates River, which ran through the city, and thus walk in through the shallow riverbed. Belshazzar died in a palace skirmish.
God's wheels of justice sometimes run slowly but in Belshazzar's case it was very swift. When we examine our own lives, do we find we are placing the emphasis on the wrong things? Are the scales balancing heavily in the direction of what I want for myself or are we being open toward the needs of our family and of others?
Are we so busy praising the gods of gold and silver that we fail to honor the one who has created us just for Himself? We are all being weighed in the balances of life. Will we too, like Belshazzar be found lacking?
Reference: Dan. 5:1-7, 25-28. Authorized Version- The Holy Bible.
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