23 He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. 24 Scarcely shall they be planted, Scarcely shall they be sown, Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, When He will also blow on them, And they will wither, And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble. Isaiah 40:23-24
I’m currently reading through a study of Daniel and its relationship to Revelation prophecy. I just finished Daniel 5, which most of us know best for the moment when a disembodied hand writes on the wall during a feast of the King.
King Belshazzar was giving a feast…well, more like an orgy, really. He even had the sacred vessels from the Jerusalem Temple brought in to drink and celebrate his gold and silver idols. God pronounced judgment on him by way of “the handwriting on the wall.” He called for Daniel to come interpret the writing. It turned out that was the very night Babylon was breached by the Persians and Belshazzar was killed.
He and the rest knew King Cyrus was out there, but they had faith in their mighty walls, which had never been conquered. They thought they were secure. They were not.
However, the could have been. If only they’d placed their trust in God instead of their walls, they would have been truly secure!
In his book, “Agents of Babylon,” Dr. David Jeremiah writes:
“Contemporary civilization is similar to ancient Babylon in that it has much to foster human pride but little to provide human security.”
What else but pride causes a row over seats at a high school graduation big enough to make national headlines? Who in their right mind kills a family member over the last drumstick at dinner? What are people thinking when they abuse a waitress over the most things?
Litmus test – If this is my biggest problem today, just how bad of a day is it, really? Answer? Not very bad unless you are blinded by pride!
For the same reasons, we don’t have the security anywhere in the world that we used to. People feel more and more entitled to do whatever they wish; cut someone off in traffic with the potential to cause harm, pull a gun on someone over cutting in line, and more. I actually had someone spit at me from a car while riding a bicycle several years ago.
In “How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything,” the author points out that civilization, law, & order are myths that most people buy into. When people start realizing what they can actually get away with and have the pride, the sense of entitlement to give it a go, chaos is just around the corner. Only when we are taught humility by God is civilization possible. The more prideful we become as a society, the less secure we are…at movie theatres, fast food restaurants, in our parks, and even just walking or driving down the streets and highways.
Dr. Jeremiah rightly points out that “The disaster of the world, however, does not overtake the child of God…”
Daniel was in his eighties when Cyrus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy by capturing Babylon and killed Nebuchadnezzar. Cyrus also made Daniel one of the leading men in his kingdom. God wasn’t done with Daniel.
God isn’t done with us either. Don’t be concerned with self and earthly riches on earth. And, while God is a loving God, we should never ignore the warnings and examples of wrath in the Bible. God punishes and God corrects, and neither are seldom fun.
Stay humble; God shuns the proud.