As I write this the news has arrived, the infamous dictator, Fidel Castro has died. In today’s reading, we read about another dictator, Belshazzar. The marvelous mercy of God is that no matter your station in life, God has presented himself in His marvelous creation that we may be without excuse. We cannot say we did not know about God. [Rom 1]
As the dictator Belshazzar partied, the finger of God appeared and wrote a message the charlatan wise men could not interpret. Then, as in any crisis, God has a man prepared for such a time as this. Belshazzar called for Daniel whom he noted as a “captive of Judah.” As Daniel stood there reading the words we wonder if he recalled the prophecy of the true prophet Jeremiah “I will chase the Babylonians off their land.” “Suddenly Babylonia will fall and be destroyed.”
It has been at least 66 yrs since Daniel arrived in Babylon. To Belshazzar he is still considered a “captive of Judah” but Daniel is, like Paul, a “prisoner for Christ.” Daniel reminded Belshazzar that God’s finger of mercy was sent make him know his eternal destiny needed to be settled. He had all the evidence, the idols of Babylon were false; the charlatan wise men were false. Would he accept God’s way? Crises come and go, dictators come and go but when we are a “prisoner of Christ” we can know that one day we will enter heaven for we have secured our eternal destiny.
Where is Castro now? Where is Belshazzar now? Where will you be when you die?