Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies! The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived—it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth. And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,’ this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.” Daniel 4:19-27
God always lets us know when we are doing something wrong. Maybe not in a dream like Nebuchadnezzar had, for most of us it is what we call our conscience. Just about everyone has that twinge of guilt when we do something bad, which is why most of us do our “bad things’ in the cover of darkness. But the first few times we sin we know we have done something wrong.
We may tell ourselves that what we are doing is really not bad and after all no one is getting hurt, at least no one we know of or maybe care for. Few however do these things in the open. Or at least that is how is has been. Today, we have managed as a society to convince ourselves or at least most people that some things are not really bad after all. Sex outside of marriage why that is so puritanical. Adultery, everyone knows that one person just cannot fulfill all our needs. Cheating on taxes, come on everyone does it. And the rationalizations go on and on. Why half the country now believes that marriage is not just between one man and one woman. After all who are we to say to whom, what or how many a person can be married to?
God however, has somehow forgotten to update His Word to accommodate our new found sensibilities. Reread as often as I can I just cannot find where God has changed His mind about sin. Some will tell you that God really means for us to modify our understanding of the Word to fit the times. They like the living document take on the Bible. However, there is nothing to suggest that God intends us to revise His Word to suit our preferences. And His word is very plain as regards to sin.
Just as God gave Nebuchadnezzar fair warning about what was going to happen to him and what the king could do to avoid or at least postpone the punishment, so we too have been given ample warning to change our ways and what we need to do to ensure our eternal future.
Have a blessed day,