Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

Urban legend has it that during one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history, a band of people were partying on the third floor of the Richelieu Manor Apartments in Pass Christian, Mississippi, ground zero for the storm. As the storm approached, feeling invincible and determined to ride out the storm, the apartment dwellers through a party. When a  police officer asked them to evacuate, they refused and continued to party. The storm hit, destroyed the building and they died.

This urban legend is reminiscent of King Belshazzar partying in Daniel 5. Feeling invincible due to his power and accomplishments, in an act of blasphemy, the King used stolen items from the temple in Jerusalem to drink and eat during his orgy. But while the crowd was feasting, fingers of a man’s hand appeared on the wall and wrote something the king could not understand.

When Daniel interpreted the message, it wasn’t good news for the prideful king who mocked Daniel’s God and worshipped idols. Basically, God told the king that his days were numbered, he wasn’t all that powerful and that his kingdom would be divided. The King was killed that night and his kingdom divided. God dealt with the King who willfully mocked and ignored Him.

How often do we ignore God? Like Belshazzar, do we feel invincible, know what is right, but continue to live our own way? “Yes, I know cohabiting is not right, but…” or “I know I shouldn’t gossip, but it is so easy to do.” Or maybe, “I had to lie to protect my reputation.” “A little cheating won’t matter because the government cheats me.”

The handwriting is on the wall. God will expose a heart that is divided-one that serves him only when it is convenient. When God writes His truth on our heart, we need to listen. Our days are numbered. We aren’t as powerful as we think. One day, we answer to God.  If we put our trust in anything other than God, it will fail.  In today’s time, we want to stand firm in the midst of the cultural storm, not giving in to prideful self-reliance, thinking we can live our lives apart from God and be OK.

God is looking for those who can read the handwriting on the wall and put Him first.

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