That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two. Daniel 5:30-31 (NIV).
Let’s face it: death will come for all of us. Without the salvation of God Himself, we are both doomed and damned. God, through His Son, Jesus, wants to anoint us with oil, to comfort and care for us. He calls to us every day of our lives to turn to Him for all our hope. He offers us the benefits of eternity both now and at the end of our lives if only we will believe in Him, trust in Him alone to save us from the crushing guilt of our humiliating sins.
And when we don’t do it, there is eternal separation from His hope, His comfort, His love. That’s not me saying it: read your Bible. It’s God’s own promise. I’ll admit: Like my friend, Vern, I’m wistfully hopeful that, when I get to heaven, He will show how He made a mysterious way that I didn’t understand to bring into His family even those we thought condemned. Such a magnificent mercy would be completely in character for our LORD.
Yet this divine justice He repeatedly promises is also in character, because His holiness demands perfect justice. It isn’t slamming the Babylonians, or Belshazzar, or us for things we do here. It’s Him turning us over to the natural consequences of our sinful things because we’ve rejected His salvation. God called to Belshazzar through years of the Babylonian captivity of His chosen people, to know Him and revere Him; to confess that God alone is God and the only glory of mankind.
Instead, Belshazzar, king of Babylon, rejected God. In doing so, he gave God the finger and told Him off. Within hours, Belshazzar was dead. Babylon, which had ruled the known world for over a hundred years, was in ruins. All the noble men and women who had feasted with the king were dead, or themselves enslaved, or in flight. A new era was beginning; one in which God would use Daniel to teach even more lessons to both the new powers-that-be and to every person thereafter.
Where do you stand? You and I bring nothing into the equation of our salvation. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, has already done everything to save us both now and forever. All we do is accept it…or reject it, and face the same desolation that Belshazzar received. Where do you stand in your profession of what you do, or don’t, believe? God didn’t save you for fear: in Him, we were made to thrive. Death comes for all of us. What say you?
For further reading: Isaiah 13:3, Isaiah 21:9, Jeremiah 50:35, Jeremiah 51:31, Daniel 6:1
O Lord, I believe in You. Thank You for the story of the fall of Babylon.
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