From Jim O'Brien
February 8, 2019

Mene Mene Teckel Upharsin

Hi Friend,

It seems archaic in the current culture to think that God might punish a person for violating His values. The evidence is staring America-and the world-in the face as I write.

Last night I was reading the Bible story of Daniel to my grandchildren. We read about Nebuchadnezzar, a great and politically astute king who ruled Babylon about 600 B.C. At the same time the news was talking about a state governor who is being driven out of office in disgrace. The similarity between the two stories is so striking I was amazed.

To give a background, Babylon was the most powerful nation on earth at the time. Judah, a vassal state, had sinned against God for a long period of time. Finally, God lost patience with their sins-that happens sometimes.

So God allowed Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, to overrun Jerusalem, destroy the temple, and take the treasures from the temple and the country. But that wasn't all he took. He took captive the best and brightest of the Hebrew young men to serve in his court. It was a brain drain from Judah to Babylon.

Daniel was a young Hebrew at the time, and he was the best of the best. The story of Daniel in the Lion's Den is well known. Through this event Nebuchadnezzar came to trust Daniel-and his God-and promoted him to be Prime Minister of Babylon.

But, as all men do, Nebuchadnezzar died succeeded eventually by Belshazzar, a spoiled, irreverent, base individual of little character. One evening Belshazzar threw a party for 2,000 elite guests where there was lots of wine and strong drink. He had consumed too much when he ordered his servants to bring in the sacred gold and silver goblets that his father had looted from the temple in Jerusalem. In his pride, Belshazzar used them to toast pagan gods.

Imagine what God thought of these vessels that had been used to worship Him being used at a drunken orgy to praise the false gods of gold and silver.

In the middle of this a hand appeared on the wall and wrote Mene, mene, teckel, upharsin. Translated, it means, "You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting and now the kingdom will be taken from you."

That night Belshazzar was killed by an invading king and his kingdom was divided between the Medes and the Persians.

Now back to the news story I heard just before reading the story of Daniel to the grandchildren. I was shocked and grieved to hear a state governor propose a law to allow the murder of a baby that has survived an abortion. It is a child outside the womb living on its own power. The governor is proposing that the parent and a couple of doctors can kill the child.

Almost immediately there was an accusation against the governor that he had, during his college years, committed several acts of racism and should resign or be forced from office.

Must there be a hand writing on the wall before we know that God has had enough! Twenty-first century politicians could learn a lesson from what happened to Belshazzar.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien