by Anniel 5/26/14
People who never read the Bible miss a rich cultural heritage passed on and preserved for millennia. One does not even need to be a “believer” to learn wisdom from study of the Bible. But today the Bible’s contents are such a source of distress to the tender sensibilities of people who hate to be told “THOU SHALT NOT”, that those who do read and study it may feel the need to do so furtively by covering it in a plain brown wrapper.
Crusades against God and His Word are not new, nor is the worshiping of false gods and idols. Idols have always competed with God for the soul of man. Francis Bacon trenchantly observed that, “We are slaves to the idols of our minds.” Who or what are the idols of our minds today? Money, possessions, control, fame, power? What have we as a people become slaves to? Do we worship God or mammon?
The Book of Ecclesiastes I:9 teaches:
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be, and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
No new thing under the sun, we go in circles, and still each new generation arrogantly believes that they are the first ones to be in their circumstances or to know anything about truth. Rejection of historical biblical principles produces a people who no longer know that liberty is an unalienable right that comes from God, and in their ignorance they sell their birthright for the proverbial mess of pottage. If they even recognize the daily mess of pottage placed before them.
Today there are those who claim politically correct multi-culti principles, but still sneer at those they think are inferior. Christians are fed again to the lions of jihad and societal ostracism; Climate Change “Deniers” should be not only silenced, but imprisoned, and, if necessary, executed as traitors; political conservatives are some sort of (racist, sexist, etc., just choose the flavor of the day). At the very least such creatures must be kept from speaking in public and barred from participation in the academic life of all institutions of “higher learning”. Who has the most knowledge to impart and whose “diversity” is to be more celebrated? That decision should be left to the elite. They know that minds can only be stretched so far without harm.
Truth is subjective and whatever one chooses it to be. “My truth is as good as yours.” People who say this are really saying there is no truth at all and since they are modern they are more intelligent than those dolts from the past.
In our hubris we have forgotten that there really is nothing new under the sun, that people in the past were also intelligent and led full lives. They had wisdom we can learn and receive guidance from. The Bible is one such source of practical lessons on life and recognizing what is important in human experience.
In the not too distant past even people who were not “religious” were somewhat literate in biblical knowledge. The writer Florence King told of having problems with her Social Security number. Finally she had an appointment with a supervisor and, after explaining her problem, the supervisor assured her she understood and the problem would be resolved. ” . . . given my natural pessimism, I automatically said, ‘I can see the handwriting on the wall.’ That’s when she looked at the wall. Turned around and gave it the old up-and-down once-over. Looked at me with eyes as big as saucers. ‘It’s just a figure of speech’, I mumbled.” (NR, Igno Rant Is Bliss, July 26, 2001).
Sometimes we don’t see “the handwriting on the wall” because we don’t know what it means or have never thought about it enough to see its relevance to us.
In his book After America: Get Ready For Armageddon, (2009), Mark Steyn clarifies the story of Belshazzar, King of Babylon, and “the handwriting on the wall,” as told in the Book of Daniel the Prophet, Chapter 5.
Belshazzar had a feast for all his courtiers and brought out the gold and silver plates, utensils and goblets looted from the temple in Jerusalem and used them to drunkenly toast the gods of gold and silver worshiped by the Babylonians. In the midst of the feast a disembodied hand appeared and wrote the words, “mene, mene, tekel, upharsin,” on the wall. Belshazzar understood the words, they were in his language after all, but he couldn’t figure out why they were suddenly written on the wall during his big party.
Anyone reading the biblical account knows the translation which follows, but most don’t know the meanings of the words as they were written on the wall. Mr. Steyn explains that the words are names for units or weights of Babylonian currency, or as he says: half-dollar, half-dollar, penny and two bits.
Daniel, the Jewish prophet, was called in by the King to interpret the “handwriting on the wall.” The interpretation given to Belshazzar by Daniel is:
MENE: “God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it”. TEKEL: “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” UPHARSIN: “Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”
Belshazzar must have immediately recognized the truth of the interpretation, that he had squandered the wealth of his kingdom and thereby weakened and destroyed it, for right away he rewarded Daniel handsomely for his interpretation and prophecy.
Within a day Belshazzar was slain, and the Persians and Darius the Mede had taken over the kingdom.
Mr. Steyn is to be thanked for identifying what the words written on the wall actually mean and placing the story in the context of Belshazzar’s foolhardy fiscal policies. He and his kingdom were numbered (counted), he and his treasury had been weighed in the balances and found to be wanting, that is, empty and out-of-balance.
Does this story have any relevance to our nation’s trillions, billions, and millions in debt? Is there anyone at all who knows the full extent of our profligacy and actual debt? How far from beginning to balance our fiscal affairs are we? Balanced Budget Amendment anyone? Is anyone in Washington awake, at 3 A.M. or otherwise, and reading the “handwriting on the wall?” • (2212 views)