You Have Been Weighed In the Balances, and Found Wanting

Conor MacCormack, Guest Columnist

“Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them… They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone. In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other. The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers… Now all the king’s wise men came, but they could not read the writing, or make known to the king its interpretation… Then Daniel was brought in before the king…

Then Daniel answered, and said before the king… “O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor. And because of the majesty that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him… But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.

“But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified. Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.

“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; TEKEK: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting.” (Daniel 5:1-2, 4-8, 13, 18-27 NKJV)

The powerful words of God’s message to King Belshazzar regarding his blinding arrogance, as interpreted by Daniel, are among some of the most well known in all of Scripture. Indeed, it is this poignant moment from Daniel Chapter 5 that birthed the popular phrase “the handwriting on the wall” when referring to a particularly ominous sign or situation. While the phrase is alive and well in our society today, the message that it carried has long been neglected by America’s men of the cloth.

If there was ever a time in our nation’s history for professing Christians to follow Daniel’s bold lead and proclaim the handwriting on the wall to a wayward and decaying culture, it is most certainly now. Contrary to the assurances being espoused by the moral midgets on Capitol Hill, the lame stream media spin doctors and the politically correct preachers that “all is well” and that “God will always love America”, the chances of our constitutional form of government surviving grow thinner with each passing day.

Rather than facing the hard truth that these States United have morphed into a Devilish tyranny that has blended the worst elements of National Socialism and Communism, many American Christians (on both sides of the political and denominational aisle) arrogantly invoke God’s blessing on a nation that does not “humble its heart” before the Great I AM.

I humbly ask my Christian brethren: is a nation that has troops stationed in over 120 countries around the world and routinely interferes in the affairs of sovereign, independent nations worthy of the Lord’s blessing? Will a country that eschews the biblically based theory of just war in favor of aggressive, imperialistic nation building win the favor of the Prince of Peace? Can a government that violently absconds with the bread its citizens have earned, which is the “gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:13), be deemed just by the Eternal Judge? How can we continue to place confidence and trust in the banksters and moneychangers that constitute the Federal Reserve, who use a system of dishonest scales, “which are an abomination to the LORD”? (Proverbs 11:1)

Unfortunately, just as Belshazzar did not take to heart the lesson of his father Nebuchadnezzar, the vast majority of professing Christians in America have neglected the lessons of history. Just as their spiritual Israelite forefathers and Belshazzar’s Babylonians did before them, Christians praise the myriad false gods and idols of the modern age: celebrity, wealth, power, sexual perversion, materialism and the power of the State. The insatiable lust for power and pleasure governs their heart and conscience in opposition to the commandments and “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”.

As painful as it might be for Christians to hear, the truth is that it has been in large part the apathy, indifference, and compliance of the pulpits and pews of America toward the political and cultural status quo that has done the most damage to the cause of liberty. The average American church, whether “liberal” or “conservative”, is nothing but a glorified social club. The house of God has transformed into a house of gossip, slander and backbiting. The conviction of the Gospel of Christ has been substituted with a syrupy feel good evangelism and hollow “prosperity” theology.

With the rampant hypocrisy and hatred being spewed by these modern day Pharisees and Sadducees, is it any wonder that the average non-believer wants nothing to do with what passes for “Christianity” today? In fact, it is often through doing the exact opposite of what these “men of God” teach that many non-believers fulfill Christ’s commandments. Indeed, “the stones are crying out” (Luke 19:37-40) in America.

There is no question that just like Belshazzar’s kingdom, and countless other nations throughout history, the United States of America is coming under divine judgment for its tyrannical and ungodly behavior both at home and abroad. Our federal and state governments have “lifted themselves above the Lord of heaven”, demanding that citizens submit to their dictates unconditionally no matter how unbiblical or unconstitutional they maybe. Abroad, our national government sows the seeds of discord and chaos and uses the consequent blowback as an excuse to justify further overseas adventures and conquest. They have forgotten that “the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.” We have indeed been weighed in the Lord’s righteous balances, and found wanting.

My dear friends, if we are to once again earn God’s grace and protection and save our constitutional republic, we must heed the lessons of history. We as a society must let go of our obsession with power, fame, and materialism. If true liberty is to return to our land, we must embrace the principles of self-reliance, thrift and virtue that made our nation, in spite of its imperfections, the greatest beacon for freedom the world has ever known. Let us return to the simple yet sublime teachings of the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments. If we humbly and earnestly endeavor to do this, we shall once again live in freedom. If we cannot, we will surely go the way of so many empires and kingdoms that now inhabit the dustbin of history. Let us meditate on the words of John Adams, who insightfully wrote to Thomas Jefferson:

“Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue?… And without virtue, there can be no political liberty….Will you tell me how to prevent riches from becoming the effects of temperance and industry? Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance, vice and folly?…I believe no effort in favor is lost…”


This column first appeared in the A Young Man Speaks blog on August 26th, 2011


A freelance writer and blogger, Conor MacCormack is currently completing coursework for a Bachelor’s degree in History from Framingham State University in Framingham, MA. His blog, A Young Man Speaks, addresses the current political and spiritual turmoil gripping our nation and how a return to our biblically based founding principles will lead to lasting liberty and prosperity. He has served as an intern for Dr. Ron Paul’s congressional office in Washington, D.C. You can also visit his website: www.ayoungmanspeaks.weebly.com