Daniel 5:25–28: “And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”

October 16th, 2021 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Daniel lived through the reign of Nebuchadnezzar and the several rulers that followed him. Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon. During one of Belshazzar’s feast, a supernatural hand appeared and wrote an inscription on the wall. No one could interpret the inscription so Daniel was called in. He told the king that God had “numbered” or “counted out” his kingdom and finished it. In other words, God was saying, “It’s over Belshazzar.” God has allotted each one a limited time on this earth and He alone knows the length of time given to each person.

When it says weighed, it means that all our actions are examined and our life is scrutinized in just balances. Many think of the balances as weighing the good deeds of life verses the evil deeds, but God looks much deeper than that. Some of the deeper things in Belshazzar’s life included that he knew the power of God but choose to ignore it. Daniel reminded him that his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, had left a written record of his testimony. Also Belshazzar knew that the vessels he used for his feasting were from God’s temple in Jerusalem. In fact Daniel warned him “the God who holds your breath in His hand . . . you have not glorified” (Dan. 5:23). Belshazzar had never uttered a single word of thanks with that breath to God for all he had. This is a sweeping concept worthy of pondering. God gives us each and every one of our breaths. On average, a human breathes almost 30,000 times per day, more than 10 million times per year, and almost 1 billion times in a lifetime. God gives us the strength to take in each and every one of them. Are we thankful?

At the age of 21, John Wesley was admitted to Oxford University. He was handsome, quick, and self-assured. One day he had a conversation with a poor, university janitor that profoundly impacted him for the rest of his life. The janitor was so poor he didn’t even have a bed, yet he was filled with gratitude to God. Wesley sarcastically asked, “And what else do you thank God for?” The janitor smiled and replied, “I thank Him that He has given me breath, life, and being, a heart to love Him, and above all, a constant desire to serve Him!” Deeply moved, Wesley recognized that this man knew the Lord in a way that he did not and understood true thankfulness. Many years later, at age 88, John Wesley lay on his deathbed and weakly sang, “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath.” He had truly learned the lesson of praising God in every circumstance.

“LORD, we thank you for the breath we have this day and ask You to use us to further Your kingdom, in Jesus’ name.”