DEFIANCE: THE POINT OF NO RETURN
By Henry Jaegers
They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand emerged and began writing. (Daniel 5: 4,5a)
The king’s princes, wives and concubines drank from the holy vessels without any twinge of conscience. Was there no one to warn them about the consequences of defiance toward God? In the gospels, Jesus spoke of a sin that could not be forgiven to those who charged Him as having a demon. The sin against the Holy Spirit has a similar ring as we find here. It begins with ignorance and later progresses to hostility. Both of these, though serious, still allow men to find forgiveness. The third stage of defiance is accompanied by blasphemy with no desire or ability to change course.
That is the stage in which we find Belshazzar and his party. They crossed the line when they used the vessels of God to worship their false God’s. They openly and brazenly defied the God of Heaven. Belshazzar’s defiance was a determined effort to ignore that which God had commanded and promised. He ignored the consequences of disobedience to God. Perhaps his reasoning went something like this:” He’s just another God like the ones we worship, incapable of doing anything, and disinterested in what’s happening.” The problem was that past history, as we shall consider later, spoke otherwise.
We are admonished to “Grow in Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 3:18) This is the safeguard we have in maintaining our peace with God. Indifference toward God’s long suffering is a step toward defiance. Turn back while there is time and experience His forgiveness.