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Monday, December 1, 2008

Shadow Praise

"Then commanded Belshazzar (King of Babylon), and his servants clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning Daniel that Daniel should be he third ruler in the kingdom. On that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain..." (Daniel 5:29,30)

How temporary praise and honor from this world is. The Apostle Paul in the New Testament told us the things that occured in the Old Testament were recorded for examples and for us to pay attention to and learn from them. They are records of the ways of God. Our actions should be in accordance with these examples. They are to be remembered and followed along with the life and teachings of Christ.

The punishement happened to King Belshazzar after his royal court brought cups and items from the Holy Temple to drink from them during his evening of revelry. This act of defiance and arrogance against the One true God resulted in his death on that very night.

How does our society treat the holy things of God? Is there a healthy fear regarding His Word and instructions? Why do most think that they are exempt from the same punishment as King Belshazzar? Why do most seek and strive for the golden chain, robe of scarlet and power and wealth of the world? This incident in the Book of Daniel was given as warning to those who seek glory and prestige from the world, instead of from God.

What good did the gold, robe of scarlet and a third of the kingdom do for Daniel? What good would it do for us if we received such a gift from the world? The kingdom of Belshazzar fell that very night. The king was pronounced dead the next morning. This is how severe the punishment can be for treating the things of God lightly.

In 1 John 2:17 we are admonished to love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, for the things of this world-
1. The lust of the eyes
2. The lust of the flesh
3. And the pride of life
are NOT of the Father but are of the world. And the world passes away and the lust that is in it, but the Word of God stands forever.

The world passed away for King Belshazzar on that eventful night. His praise, gifts and recognitioin of Daniel were only a shadow. His kingdom was destroyed, his wealth gone, and his life ended.

As I start this new week after the Thanksgiving Holiday, I go to work with this story from Daniel in my thoughts. I will do what is required of me on my job, I will receive a pay check (hopefully!) for my work, and I will remember that the praise, glory and honor of this world are but a shadow when put proper context with the things that are eternal.

Love God, and keep His commandments; this is the whole duty of man.

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