Weighed in the Balance

…and found wanting

In Daniel 5, King Belshazzar of Babylon stands face to face with the power and justice of God.  After desecrating the vessels used for Temple worship in Jerusalem, a mysterious hand appears on the wall of the palace and writes, “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN.”  Daniel, servant of the Most High discerns this message and proclaims that Belshazzar’s reign has come to an end and that he will die shortly.  Or, most famously, “You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting” (5:27).

Daniel charges Belshazzar with this crime: “You have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know; but the God in whose power is your very breath, and to whom belong all your ways, you have not honored” (Daniel 5:23).

This idol worship, the praise of the gods of the Dow Jones and the Commodity Price Index, worship of the gods of Wall Street, prayer to the gods of silver and gold is still alive and well.  Raj Rajaratnam, recently convicted of an insider trading scheme worth millions of dollars, prayed to these idols.  The gods of Raj Rajaratnam are the gods of silver and gold.

These are the gods that we think will give us power and authority.  But in the end, the gods of gold and silver are cruel; they snatch away our lives as we become consumed by them.  By trying to fill our vaults with treasure, our treasure locks us into the vaults of self-produced fear and greed.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (I John 5:21).  

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