Summary: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Peres - words spoken to Belshazzar that you never want to hear spoken to you. Make Jesus number one in your life.
Words You Never Want to Hear
By Pastor Jim May
In the Book of Daniel there is an interesting story about one of the richest and most powerful kings that ever lived. His name is Nebuchadnezzar and he was ruler over the first great world empire known as the Babylonian Empire.
He did a lot of wondrous things during his reign including the construction of the great capitol city of Babylon. One historian, by the name of Herodotus, claimed the outer walls were 56 miles in length, 80 feet thick and 320 feet high. Wide enough, he said, to allow a four-horse chariot to turn. The inner walls were "not as thick as the first, but just as strong." Inside the walls were fortresses and temples containing immense statues of solid gold. Rising above the city was the famous Tower of Babel that seemed to reach to the heavens. It was a testimony to man’s defiance of the God of Heaven and it was used as a temple to the god Marduk.
Marduk is normally referred to as “Bel”, which means, "Lord". He is called, “the great lord", "lord of lords", "leader of the gods", "the wise, lord of oracles", and "receiver of the dead". Later his name became better known as “Baal” and now you can see why the God of Heaven hated Baal worship. This Babylonian god was an idol whom men worshipped and put in the place of the One True God.
In addition to all of the temples, fortresses and great city, Nebuchadnezzar also built one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. According to some historical accounts, the gardens were built to cheer up Nebuchadnezzar’s homesick wife, Amyitis. She was a daughter of the king of the Medes, and was married to Nebuchadnezzar to create an alliance between the nations. The land she came from was green, rugged and mountainous, and she found the flat, sun-baked terrain of Mesopotamia depressing. King Nebuchadnezzar decided to recreate her homeland by building an artificial mountain with rooftop gardens. This mountain has been estimated by historians to be as much as 400 ft square and 320 ft high. It was layered into terraces and all sorts of trees and plants were on each terrace. The whole thing was watered by bucket style elevators that were in motion all the time, powered by oxen and slaves to keep the whole mountain well watered and green so that the queen could feel at home.
When money and power are given to a man, there is no limit to what he will do to make his own life better. It’s no different today, is it? Even people who claim to be ministers of the gospel will abuse the money and power in their hand to build lavish lifestyles. God will judge those who abuse his provisions in such a manner. God never intended for a preacher to own jet planes just so he wouldn’t have to wait in an airport terminal with everyone else. And if he did, he certainly wouldn’t want preachers to use them to take vacations to Tahiti or Hawaii. I don’t believe that God ever intended for a preacher to have Hummer just to ride around in the pasture to check out his herd of cattle, or to have a mansion to live in, plus several more as vacation homes.
You can tell me that it’s all “gifts” from people who admire you, but that doesn’t make it right in the sight of God. Those gifts are meant not just for the man of God, but for the work of God. I believe in prosperity, but only as your soul prospers in your relationship with God. A soul wrapped in greed and selfishness isn’t prospering, no matter how much money you have and God will judge those who abuse the provisions that are meant for the work of the Lord.
How many souls could be saved through the funding of missionary efforts instead of buying another vacation home? How many people could have received medical aid if we had send medicine and doctors to care for them instead of buying $3000 suits and Hummers? How many churches could have been built for the price of a private jet? Woe unto that preacher when he stands before God on judgment day and has to answer for his avarice at the expense of the gospel!
King Nebuchadnezzar was a great man, and a powerful, rich king in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of God he was an idolater whom God used to bring about God’s own will in the end.
Nebuchadnezzar defied God and lost. Daniel 5:20-21, "But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will."