Like a quill the finger wrote

Daily Post: Quill


The tale is woven, combining details, and concerning thoughts and attitudes known to no man but himself.  Make no mistake, this king assumed himself the greatest human to have ever lived.  Boasting of his father’s conquests, he summoned his minions to bring the gold and silver chalices of the temple of God, so his own guests could drink from them.  The celebration of a thousand nobles degraded into a drunken orgy as they praised the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone.

A man’s hand appeared, hovering near the wall next to a lampstand, before the crowd, in the king’s palace. The king watched the back of the hand as it moved, like a quill the finger wrote on the wall while the king grew pale and frightened.  His hips would no longer support his weight, and his wobbly knees knocked together.  As the tale is told, the king offered wealth beyond imagination to anyone who could interpret what had been written on the wall.  The thousand nobles and their guests could not, his servants could not, and the fear of not knowing the meaning of the words cast an even greater anxiety into the king’s heart.

Enter the queen.

“There is a man,” she said.  This wise man from the west was brought before the king.  As the king went through his voir dire, accessing the man’s curriculum vita, he was assured the man could help.  Once convinced, the king offered the man a king’s ransom for interpreting the message on the wall. What the man said in response may shock you…

“Keep your gifts for yourself or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation know to him.”

A hush came over the crowd as the man stood before the king, ignoring the ransom, and stating boldly his ability to deliver the message with clarity.  The man read the words:


The wise man from the west, then interpreted the writing:

Mene – God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it… (repeated twice for emphasis)
Tekel – you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient…
Upharsin – your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians (PERES).

As Paul Harvey would say, “Now for the REST of the story,” that very same night, (the story concludes), Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain, and Dairus the king of the Medes took over the kingdom. (read the whole story in Daniel 5)

I always loved watching “Lassie” on television when I was a kid.  My favorite memory of those wholesome lessons was the “you see Timmy” part.  The dad or the mom would always have to explain the moral of the story to Timmy .  The words they spoke were like a quill writing gently into our minds the intentions of the story’s author.

What is the point of the story of the king?  Why is it included in the greatest book ever written?  What can we learn from it’s meaning?  The writer of Hebrews helps us here.

Hebrews 4:13
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

The God of heaven, the Author of Creation, the King of kings and Lord of lords, knows where you are, knows your thoughts and fears, knows the intentions of your heart.  Be honest enough to admit, with this truth comes great responsibility.  Today, yield your heart before him.  Determine and purpose that you will listen to His Son Jesus give instruction and direction to your life.  Present yourself as His subject, a willing servant, seeking only His glory and honor… something King Belshazzar never even considered.

Discover the grace of God’s loving salvation today.  Allow the finger of God, like a quill, to write His own name on your heart and mind.

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Sticks and Stones

via Label

label maker

There was a time when I thought label makers were so cool.  Seeing that thin piece of film coming out the end, printed so finely with tags for all my files, was comforting in that now I could actually read the titles at the tops of my most important information.  You know, files like: Golf Scores, Favorite Restaurants, Dog Groomer, etc.  My handwriting is something my mother often referred to as “chicken scratching,” saying she could neither read it or make sense of it.  So the label maker saved my bacon when she came to visit and saw my office filing system.

Unfortunately, some people tend to designate, describe, or hashtag their own labels for other people, becoming in the act, a living – breathing label maker.  Sure I enjoyed having my files labeled, that made finding my stuff easier.  I don’t so much enjoy being branded by those who barely know me, or those who think they know me but don’t, or those that don’t know me and know they don’t know me… as something that I’m not.  You want to know a good label for me?  Here it is:  Sinner saved by GRACE through Jesus.  This is the only label I will wear without hesitation.

Why?  Because I know exactly how true it is.  Because of my sinful condition, (thank God it is only temporal and not eternal), I know some other labels that fit me.  These labels are not the total me, so if you see only this part, then you don’t know the rest of me.  For example, one label that fits is “Failure.”  I’ve failed in a marriage, as a father, as a pastor, as a friend, at business, at being a son, brother, and teacher.  Not all the time.  Not my whole life.  Because in my past and present it would also be right to label me as “Successful.” I’ve been successful in marriage, as a father, a pastor, friend, son, brother, teacher.  I’ve been successful in business, having recently written, and offering for purchase, my first Bible study book on Revelation.  “You see Timmy”, not every label has a “this is all he is” kind of accuracy.

A person can hashtag on their mobile devices all day long, in an instant opinion world where the “optics” are the only thing that matters, and still not be accurate or insightful in these opinions or observations.  Reading between the lines of any one person’s life-story, is impossible to do without divine knowledge.  I’m pretty sure no person surrounding me today, or in my past could be mistaken as divine.  They are pretty much like me in the “sinner” category.  In my mind at least, that makes us all equal.

Some people today use their personal version of verbal label making to assassinate another person’s character.  Lashing out verbally, or on social media, they imitate a group of people from the Bible that Jesus went toe-to-toe with a bunch of times.  The Scribes and Pharisees were supposed to be the spiritual leaders of Israel, and lead the people into divine truth as revealed to them from God’s written word.  The problem was, by the time Jesus began His ministry in the first century, many of these men no longer relied on God’s written word to guide them.  Instead, they turned to the opinions and interpretations of men down the ages who preceded them, reading and citing tradition and opinion rather than the actual words of God.  So when they heard of Jesus speaking, interpreting, and proclaiming the ACTUAL word of God, they became instant human label-makers.

In so doing, they verbally labeled Jesus in front of the masses as a Law-breaker, for eating without ceremonially washing His hands first.  Jesus responded one time this way… Mark 7:6-15

“Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:

These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.  They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men.  Disregarding the command of God, you keep the tradition of men.

You completely invalidate God’s command in order to maintain your tradition!  For Moses said: Honor your father and your mother; and Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.  But you say, If a man tells his father or mother: Whatever benefit you might have received from me is Corban” (that is, a gift committed to the temple), you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother.  You revoke God’s word by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many other similar things.”  

Summoning the crowd again, He told them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 

At other times, these men called Jesus: heretic, blasphemer, a devil, a liar, they said His miracles were from Satan.

Now, here’s the thing.

Jesus told His disciples that in this world, if they (or we today) decide to follow Him whole-heartedly, we will not only face persecution, name calling, labels, or slander… we could even face death.  This is why it is getting so much harder to follow Jesus in a perverted and twisted society with instant access to social media.  The sticks and stone do hurt don’t they?  The constant barrage of hashtag hate that permeates our society is sickening to our Heavenly Father, I’m sure of it.  But there will always be a cost to following Christ.  What’s a person to do?  I know I gave you this verse just yesterday in my blog, but allow me to emphasize it by reminding you of it here.

John 16:33
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.

Don’t worry about the labels people place on you.  Only, constantly remember the correct label you wear:

Sinner saved by GRACE through Jesus.


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