Got trust issues with humans? I do, because I am one. Not to worry. Trust God. Believe what HE says because what He says is really real and can be trusted.
Daniel 4 is full of verbs, (action words), that describe fully the sovereignty of Gods supreme power, control, dominion, rule and authority over all His creation. What He says, He will do. When He is mocked, He takes care of those who mock Him. Such powerful verbs: God “rules,” “appoints,” “executes,” “accomplished.” These terms attest to the existence of a heavenly Architect and blueprint, and His blueprint includes you and I. Don’t mess with God! He is God—we are not.
Daniel 4, The Message
The Writing of a Disembodied Hand
1-4 King Belshazzar held a great feast for his one thousand nobles. The wine flowed freely. Belshazzar, heady with the wine, ordered that the gold and silver chalices his father Nebuchadnezzar had stolen from God’s Temple of Jerusalem be brought in so that he and his nobles, his wives and concubines, could drink from them. When the gold and silver chalices were brought in, the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines, drank wine from them. They drank the wine and drunkenly praised their gods made of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.
5-7 At that very moment, the fingers of a human hand appeared and began writing on the lamp-illumined, whitewashed wall of the palace. When the king saw the disembodied hand writing away, he went white as a ghost, scared out of his wits. His legs went limp and his knees knocked. He yelled out for the enchanters, the fortunetellers, and the diviners to come. He told these Babylonian magi, “Anyone who can read this writing on the wall and tell me what it means will be famous and rich—purple robe, the great gold chain—and be third-in-command in the kingdom.”
8-9 One after the other they tried, but could make no sense of it. They could neither read what was written nor interpret it to the king. So now the king was really frightened. All the blood drained from his face. The nobles were in a panic.
10-12 The queen heard of the hysteria among the king and his nobles and came to the banquet hall. She said, “Long live the king! Don’t be upset. Don’t sit around looking like ghosts. There is a man in your kingdom who is full of the divine Holy Spirit. During your father’s time he was well known for his intellectual brilliance and spiritual wisdom. He was so good that your father, King Nebuchadnezzar, made him the head of all the magicians, enchanters, fortunetellers, and diviners. There was no one quite like him. He could do anything—interpret dreams, solve mysteries, explain puzzles. His name is Daniel, but he was renamed Belteshazzar by the king. Have Daniel called in. He’ll tell you what is going on here.”
13-16 So Daniel was called in. The king asked him, “Are you the Daniel who was one of the Jewish exiles my father brought here from Judah? I’ve heard about you—that you’re full of the Holy Spirit, that you’ve got a brilliant mind, that you are incredibly wise. The wise men and enchanters were brought in here to read this writing on the wall and interpret it for me. They couldn’t figure it out—not a word, not a syllable. But I’ve heard that you interpret dreams and solve mysteries. So—if you can read the writing and interpret it for me, you’ll be rich and famous—a purple robe, the great gold chain around your neck—and third-in-command in the kingdom.”
17 Daniel answered the king, “You can keep your gifts, or give them to someone else. But I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.
18-21 “Listen, O king! The High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar a great kingdom and a glorious reputation. Because God made him so famous, people from everywhere, whatever their race, color, and creed, were totally intimidated by him. He killed or spared people on whim. He promoted or humiliated people capriciously. He developed a big head and a hard spirit. Then God knocked him off his high horse and stripped him of his fame. He was thrown out of human company, lost his mind, and lived like a wild animal. He ate grass like an ox and was soaked by heaven’s dew until he learned his lesson: that the High God rules human kingdoms and puts anyone he wants in charge.
22-23 “You are his son and have known all this, yet you’re as arrogant as he ever was. Look at you, setting yourself up in competition against the Master of heaven! You had the sacred chalices from his Temple brought into your drunken party so that you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines, could drink from them. You used the sacred chalices to toast your gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone—blind, deaf, and imbecile gods. But you treat with contempt the living God who holds your entire life from birth to death in his hand.
24-26 “God sent the hand that wrote on the wall, and this is what is written: mene, teqel, and peres. This is what the words mean:
“Mene: God has numbered the days of your rule and they don’t add up.
27 “Teqel: You have been weighed on the scales and you don’t weigh much.
28 “Peres: Your kingdom has been divided up and handed over to the Medes and Persians.”
* * *
29 Belshazzar did what he had promised. He robed Daniel in purple, draped the great gold chain around his neck, and promoted him to third-in-charge in the kingdom.
30-31 That same night the Babylonian king Belshazzar was murdered. Darius the Mede was sixty-two years old when he succeeded him as king.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
No matter how much power we think we have here on earth, God is in control. He is supreme over all creation. Rest in this thought alone. We are not in charge. Take the weights off!
To say Jesus is “sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3) is to say he is directing creation toward a desired aim. Jesus is continually active in his creation. He exercises supremacy over all things. The world is shaking. God isn’t. Things fly beyond our control. Never beyond His.
Jesus said, “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). That promise is backed by the price He paid for me to be able to have a personal relationship with Him. That price was paid on Good Friday when “He carried our sins in His body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). It’s at that cross that He wrote “forgiven” over every sin of my life. And “eternal life” over the eternal death penalty for a lifetime of hijacking my life from Him. So, “nothing can ever separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
Do you feel distant? Removed? God isn’t. “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). Were He to step back, the creation would collapse. His resignation would spell our evaporation. “For in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
From generation to generation, God’s hand is at the helm of creation, spring still follows winter, and winter follows autumn. There is an order to the universe. He sustains everything. God is the one who “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45), so “don’t worry”, says Jesus. God is the one who feeds the birds and watches the sparrows. God is the one in charge of everything, even (and especially) the details of our lives. God delights in the details of our lives!
God isn’t making up this plan as He goes along. That is the human way. No, “The Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses” (Daniel 5:21 NKJV). He “executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another” (Psalm 75:7 NRSV). “The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his mind” (Jeremiah 30:24 NRSV).
So, what are some of your favorite words to describe God’s sovereignty?
Focus on those words the next time you struggle with feeling out of control or anxious. This exercise works—I do it often to “stay in shape” with my faith!
The story of you through Daniel is powerful, transforming, and incredibly significant for the days we live in right now. Just being still, letting go of what we think we control while knowing You by reading Your Word and listening to Your Spirit while meditating on your authority and sovereignty brings immediate peace to my soul. May all I think, say and do reflect your glory and give you praise all day long.
In Jesus Name, Amen