PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Honor HimJustin Smith
Daniel 5.22-23 “You are his successor, O Belshazzar, and you knew all this, yet you have not humbled yourself. For you have proudly defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you…But you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny!”
A floating human hand that manifests itself in the midst of a party, a message written on the palace wall that none can decipher, and a once powerful king petrified and paralyzed in fear, this is a scene that would rival the greatest in Hollywood, directed, not by Stephen Spielberg but, by God Himself. The setting is a party in celebration of the great feats the king, Belshazzar, had accomplished. In a moment of arrogance, Belshazzar called for the holy cups, that had been taken from the Temple of God in Jerusalem, to be used in revelry and defiance by the partygoers. That which was consecrated for worship was relegated to a tool of debauchery and perversion, and God would not stand for this defiance. A bodiless hand appeared, delivering a message that none could interpret. Daniel was brought before the king, and he was empowered by God to interpret this message of judgment and coming destruction. When I read this chapter I quickly got caught up in the crazy circumstance and the exciting event. I was bombarded with visions of what this scene looked like to the onlookers and the overwhelming fear they must have experienced. I mean, can you imagine a hand appearing out of nowhere and writing a message on your wall? But I think the significance lies not in the occasion but the Almighty God behind it. His matchless power was on display, and He would not be defied. As the Sovereign Ruler, he humbled King Belshazzar in condemnation and ultimately death, revealing His justice and righteousness. It was God who gave Belshazzar the breath of life, it was He who allowed him to be king, and it was he who would strip him of both of these things, revealing His mighty hand.
Yesterday Danice, Anaya, Ezekiel and I discovered that the new addition to our family is a healthy boy that is due on February 11. As we sat in the doctor’s office and viewed our baby on the ultrasound monitor, I was dumbfounded. You would think by now, as this is our third child, we would be used to it, but I was truly amazed at God’s power to create life. It was He who breathed life into our son, it was He who caused his heart to beat, it was He who fashioned his hands and fingers, and it is He who continues to cause growth. This was a breathtaking moment, and God was, and is, behind it. Belshazzar was punished because he did not honor God in his success, believing that it was his accomplishment and the work of his hand. In the midst of the joy and excitement it would be easy to get caught up in this same mentality, as though it was I who created him or who accomplished this great feat. I desire God’s blessing to be upon this young child, and my entire family, thus I have committed myself to honoring God by rightfully serving and stewarding these amazing treasures. I have committed to not allow myself the opportunity to get caught up in crazy circumstances and exciting events, only allowing myself to get caught up in the greatness of the Almighty God who’s matchless power was on display in that examination room. We rejoice in the life of our son, and as we rejoice, we remember the awesomeness of our God who is the Divine Creator.
Lord, I praise you for your power and might. I am in awe of your love and faithfulness, and I choose to honor you in this situation. I surrender this baby, and our family, to you, and I ask for your wisdom and anointing to rightfully lead them in you. May we bring you great glory!