“Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride does persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, and blesses the covetous, whom the LORD abhors. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Psalm 10:1-4 (KJB)
“And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, He took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and his raiment white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw His glory, and the two men that stood with Him. And it came to pass, as they departed from Him, Peter said unto Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias:’ not knowing what he said.
While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying,
‘This is My beloved Son: hear Him.’
And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.” Luke 9:28-36 (KJB)
Let us hear from F. B. Meyer, and what he has written on this glorious scene of our blessed Savior…
“From some aspects this was the highest point in our Savior’s earthly career. He was the second Adam and had not sinned. There was no reason, therefore, that He should die. He might in a moment have been changed; that which was mortal might have been swallowed up of life. The door through which Moses and Elijah had come stood open, and by it our Lord might have returned. But He could never, under those circumstances, have been the Savior of mankind. He knew this, so He turned His back on the joy set before Him and set His face toward Calvary.
Moses came as representing the Law; and Elijah, the Prophets. Each of these great departments of divine revelation had anticipated His coming, Luk_24:27; Luk_24:44. As stars fade in the sunrise, so their mission was now merged in Him. They spoke of His decease, literally, His exodus, and it was from this that Peter caught the term which he applied to his own death, 2Pe_1:15. The Apostles never forgot this manifestation of the glory of the Lord, 1Jn_1:1-4; 2Pe_1:17. When you hear that Christ is the Beloved of God, remember Eph_1:6.” THROUGH THE BIBLE DAY BY DAY – F.B. Meyer
Daniel 5:1 – 12
“In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.” Daniel 5:5-9 (KJV)
Belshazzar was most likely the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, and was the ruler of the city of Babylon, not the Babylonian empire. His father would have been ruler of the empire – he second in command under his father.
At this time, it has been estimated that Daniel was 82 years of age. Since Belshazzar does not know who Daniel it seems to indicate two things 1) Belshazzar’s ignorance or uncaring about the things that have happened in the past, and/or 2) Daniel had had not recent use in the kingdom.
THE PARTY THAT ENDED THE LIFE OF A KINGDOM AND A KING (vv. 1-4). There was a whole lot of riotous living going on in the palace on this night. It is said that when kings of this period had a drinking going on they left the women out of it. At this party, however, there were wives, concubines, and various kinds of women; which made this a party of debauchery .
It seemed to get so out of hand the king [Belshazzar] elevated the gods of Babylon over the God of all things. This was when he called for the vessels of God’s temple which had been taken from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar many years before. Nebuchadnezzar had also proclaimed that the people of Babylon was to respect, and revere the God of Israel. “Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” Daniel 3:29 (KJV).
The thing that had taken place on this vital evening was blasphemy and idolatry which was the ‘last straw’ with God. God’s purpose for Babylon had reached its peak, now they would be brought to their knees, and Belshazzar would die.
Playing with the things of God which are holy will bring judgment. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). There is an terrible lot of playing around with godly things, and making what is holy vile and ugly. An example of that is the attempt to legally marry people of the same gender. Marriage is a holy institution ordained by God. It is a party of the vile, godless, and unholy seeking to make it approved by God and man. It will never be approved by God, but will bring down judgment. Do not mess around with the holy things of God.
GOD’S WARNING, A FRIGHTENED KING, AND HIS SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE (vv. 5-12). Even in a kingdom such as Babylon and its chief city the LORD gives warning, but the ‘king’ is completely ignorant of the God of Israel; most likely willfully so. The prophet Amos wrote, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealed His secret unto His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7), but Belshazzar knew no prophet.
A hand appears and is writing on the wall during the party – at least the party that use to be – which, of course, causes great alarm in the heart of the king. It would probably seem that there was an emergency sobering effect upon the thousand or so who were in attendance. All attention went to the wall where the hand with no body was writing; the playing, drinking, the noise all ceased. You could probably hear the proverbial pin drop. It got really quiet.
Belshazzar’s knees “smote one against the other” he was terribly frightened – he surely must have known his time was up. His rule was over. His life was over. He then calls the most spiritually inept people there were in the kingdom – the same ones his grandfather called upon many years ago before he humbled himself to the God of all gods. He receives a recommendation from his mother – she remembers the history of Nebuchadnezzar.
The handwriting on the wall is there for us to see. It is there and should strike fear into the hearts of all who make a mock at sin, and those who love the Lord and His Word. It is written in the pages of the ages, “Be sure your sin will find you out”, and that is God’s handwriting on the wall for all to see. THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL today is the pages of holy writ, the Bible, the Word of God. You can read it, accept it, believe it, and live by it trusting the Lord of the Word and His finished work on Calvary’s cross, or you can reject it and die.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
And they shall put My name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27 (KJV)
This blessing was given to the Priests of Israel to bless the people. It was not an earned blessing, but a blessing from the hand of God’s mercy and grace. Of this blessing it has been said,
Here is a benediction that can go all the world over, and can give all the time without being impoverished. Every heart may utter it: it is the speech of God: every letter may conclude with it; every day may begin with it; every night may be sanctified by it. Here is blessing—keeping—shining—the uplifting upon our poor life of all heaven’s glad morning. It is the Lord himself who brings this bar of music from heaven’s infinite anthems. D. L. Moody, Notes from My Bible, pg. 41
from BELIEVER’S BIBLE COMMENTARY
The Lord Jesus Himself is our greatest blessing and the greatest fulfillment of this blessing. It is however a blessing in which we can be a blessing to others.
From this preacher,
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, ‘They have their reward.’ But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” ~Jesus (Matthew 6:16-18)
The following is the sermon p0ints from the sermon I preached Sunday November 18, 2012.
Blessed is the People…
1. The people who know the joyful sound;
2. The people who are in fellowship with the LORD;
3. The people who are in the light of His countenance;
4. The people rejoice all day;
5. The people are exalted in His Righteousness;
6. The people have the LORD as the glory of our strength and power;
7. The people have the LORD as King and Defender.
I have said it here before that there are some who find fault with anger of any kind. Anger, however, is a god given emotion. I do believe that you can judge the character of a man or woman by what makes them angry. Paul the apostle did say, “Be angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). There is a place for anger.
The child of God should be angry by evil in the world, personal sin, and the destruction that sin, and its cohorts inflict on the world. Anger because a business wants paid and will not bring you any propane until you pay your last bill is pointless anger, and is certainly not holy. For a person to become angry for another whose power has been cut off in the cold and the power company will not leave the power on is possibly a good anger; as long as it is controlled anger. Controlled anger might mean going and paying up the bill for the one who owes it; if possible. If not possible find a way to help.
I was reading Proverbs 12 this morning and the following verse caught my attention,
“A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.” Proverbs 12:16 (KJV)
There are some who get angry about the smallest things, and will voice their anger in public, private, business, home, church, etc., and just let their foolishness be seen by all. It is one of those occasions where you remember the saying, “It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
It is kind of sad, but you can tell people who are angry. Their countenance tells me they are angry. Bitterness, anger not dealt with, envy, hatred, malice seem to all fit together. Let me leave you with the commentary of Matthew Henry on Proverbs 12:16 :
Note, 1. Passion is folly: A fool is known by his anger (so some read it); not but that a wise man may be angry when there is just cause for it, but then he has his anger under check and direction, is lord of his anger, whereas a fool’s anger lords it over him. He that, when he is provoked, breaks out into indecent expressions, in words or behaviour, whose passion alters his countenance, makes him outrageous, and leads him to forget himself, Nabal certainly is his name and folly is with him. A fool’s indignation is known in the day; he proclaims it openly, whatever company he is in. Or it is known in the day he is provoked; he cannot defer showing his resentments. Those that are soon angry, that are quickly put into a flame by the least spark, have not that rule which they ought to have over their own spirits. 2. Meekness is wisdom: A prudent man covers shame. (1.) He covers the passion that is in his own breast; when his spirit is stirred, and his heart hot within him, he keeps his mouth as with a bridle, and suppresses his resentments, by smothering and stifling them. Anger is shame, and, though a wise man be not perfectly free from it, yet he is ashamed of it, rebukes it, and suffers not the evil spirit to speak. (2.) He covers the provocation that is given him, the indignity that is done him, winks at it, covers it as much as may be from himself, that he may not carry his resentments of it too far. It is a kindness to ourselves, and contributes to the repose of our own minds, to extenuate and excuse the injuries and affronts that we receive, instead of aggravating them and making the worst of them, as we are apt to do.
Remember the Proverbs advice and be prudent. When you are angry; deal with it, and cover the shame.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Reading today from Numbers 4 – 6.
My comments today will deal only with the following verses –
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, ‘Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: the LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.'” Numbers 6:22-27 (KJV)
We can see reading from Scripture that it is God’s desire to bless His people. He desired to bless His people Israel and to give them peace. The verses of blessing are familiar to both Jews and Christians, and are often spoken; probably not as often as they could or should be among some Christians.
This blessing was given to Moses to give unto Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel. Moses followed the LORD’s command and delivered it just as God had said. It follows the law given concerning the Nazarite vow for consecrating one’s self to the LORD. There was blessing to one who consecrated himself to the LORD and would basically for a life time or for only a month follow the life of a priestly pattern. We have this blessing given to show us that God wants to bless all His people who will obey His commandments through loving Him.
It is a wonderful thing when God’s face is toward us, looking upon us. It is a dreadful thing when we think of His back being toward us. In the Blessed Son we are assured that His face is toward us; and that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
We must remember that the greatest blessing is found only through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ Son of God. In Him we have the “Peace of God that passes understanding”. All these others are given for types, figures of the true.
Remember to read Numbes 4 – 6 for today.
-Tim A. Blankenship
The Righteous King
Looking at the life of Solomon we find a heart partially devoted to the LORD; a divided heart; unlike David his father whose “was a man after God’s own heart”. If there is to be righteousness in the land of kings, then there must be righteous kings.
In light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that we have been decreed as “kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:9) of God through Jesus Christ then we find in these Proverbs how we should reign, and that is in the likeness of our Lord and Savior and our God Jesus Christ.
I. THE RIGHTEOUS KING MAKES GODLY DECREES, AND RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS (v. 10-11).
II. THE RIGHTEOUS KING LIVES RIGHTEOUSLY, AND ESTABLISHES THE THRONE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS (v. 12).
III. THE RIGHTEOUS KING APPRECIATES, LOVES, AND DELIGHTS IN LIPS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (v. 13).
IV. THE RIGHTEOUS KING IS RESPECTED AND REVERED AS JUST IN HIS JUDGMENTS (v. 14).
V. THE RIGHTEOUS KING’S COUNTENANCE BRINGS JOY TO THOSE WHO WERE IN HIS DISPLEASURE (v. 15).
THE RIGHTEOUS KING MAKES GODLY DECREES, AND RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS (v. 10-11). One thing that is needed in the Nations, States, Counties, Cities, and homes and churches of the world is leaders who have a righteous heart.
There is truly only one who has the completely righteous heart and His name is Jesus. Those who are in Him; through having trusted Him, His work on the cross, His burial and bodily resurrection; have the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
In Christ Jesus and Him alone can we make Godly decrees, and righteous judgments. Many of the judgments made by the Judiciary of the United States, and many other countries are not made in righteousness, but for what is popular or politically expedient.
Pro 16:11 – A just weight and balance are the Lord’s,…. These are of his devising; what he has put into the heart, of men to contrive and make use of, for the benefit of mankind, for the keeping and maintaining truth and justice in commercial affairs; these are of his appointing, commanding, and approving, Lev. 19:35;
all the weights of the bag are his work; or, “all the stones” ; greater or smaller, which were formerly used in weighing, and were kept in a bag for that purpose; these are by the Lord’s appointment and order. This may be applied to the Scriptures of truth, which are of God; are the balance of the sanctuary, in which every doctrine is to be weighed and tried; what agrees with them is to be received, and what is found wanting is to be rejected. The Targum is,
“His works, all of them, are weights of truth.”
When Jesus Christ comes back to earth He will make all things right and Just. When we go to Him for a judgment we can rest assured that it will be a righteous judgment.
THE RIGHTEOUS KING LIVES RIGHTEOUSLY, AND ESTABLISHES THE THRONE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS (v. 12). The only King who has lived without sin was the King of kings; Jesus Christ Son of the Living God.
The writer of Proverbs says, “When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (29:2). When true righteousness is in authority, there is reason the people rejoice.
1. There is a ruler who fears God;
2. There is fairness in appointments, and the courts;
3. There is a just trading system;
4. There is justice in the courts;
5. There is no fear of the enemy.
THE RIGHTEOUS KING APPRECIATES, LOVES, AND DELIGHTS IN LIPS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (v. 13). What king, president, or any ruler can stand for long who is surrounded by liars? Lying lips are not righteous lips.
Righteous lips love the truth, seek the truth, and are truthful themselves. Our Righteous King, the King of kings is the living Truth, and in Him is no lie at all. Some one has given us this quote, “Liars never figure, and figures never lie”. If you tell the truth about something you never need to remember what you said; but when you lie, it will come back to get you.
A righteous leader; be they president, king, pastor, husband, father, mother, or boss; needs always to be surrounded by people who will tell the truth.
“Buy the truth and sell it not…” (23:23), and it seems that “Love the truth” would fit there as well. Why “Buy the truth” if you don’t love it also.
We can see today what lying does with the stock market and people’s lives. For example: Bernie Madoff who scammed, swindled, and suckered punched many investors out of billions of dollars, living a lie. Now the man has brought ruin to the lives of the people he stole their life savings from, his own family, harmed his nation, and destroyed his own life.
THE RIGHTEOUS KING IS RESPECTED AND REVERED AS JUST IN HIS JUDGMENTS (v. 14). King David was loved, respected and revered by many including his family; at least until he sinned with Bathsheba [Uriah’s wife], and brought harm to his own family and the nation.
Unrighteous living is costly for the one who is righteous. We must understand that righteousness is not from our own selves. Righteousness comes from God; for only He is righteous.
If there is to be righteousness it comes from Christ alone who is our righteousness. “For God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
A righteous king, or ruler would give His life for his subjects. An unrighteous king expects his subjects to give their lives for him. “There is no king like that “, someone might say. Oh, but there is His name is Jesus; and He gave His life on the cross of calvary that those who will trust Him, believe Him, might have eternal life. He faced the judgment for our sins, the wrath of His Father to pay the sin debt; our sin debt; that we might be saved, having our account paid in full, by His precious shed blood.
We can trust a king like that. We can believe that this type of king would be loved, respected and revered, and be just in all his judgments.
THE RIGHTEOUS KING’S COUNTENANCE BRINGS JOY TO THOSE WHO WERE IN HIS DISPLEASURE (v. 15). A righteous king can be offended, and when one of his subjects offends him his countenance fades.
When his subject offends him realizing that he/she has done so, and they seek the king’s forgiveness the king’s countenance will be brighter, and favorable toward the one who had offended.
When I think of all the times that I have offended King Jesus, and know that His countenance was not favorable toward me for that offense, then, I know that I must seek forgiveness. I can know before hand that in genuinely seeking forgiveness He will forgive me; but I must not willfully seek to offend Him.
Our righteous King Jesus is often offended by His subjects, but when we seek His face we know that we are cleansed and forgiven; and our joy is restored in Him.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:9-10 (KJV)
There is eternal joy in the presence of the forgiving King. His countenance is bright and pleasant and warm to all those who come to Him.
-Tim A. Blankenship