As A Beast


    “In all the gatherings of young and old, there is present an uninvited guest, a witness from heaven, as there was a witness at the sacrilegious feast of Belshazzar. Could those who dishonor God by their words and actions, behold the writing in the record, their countenances would change, as surely as did the countenance of the king when he saw the part of the bloodless hand that wrote on the wall of his palace. You may think that you are sinning in secret, or you may be entirely indifferent to the matter; but for all that, every dishonoring word spoken against God will bring its sure reward. That which you sow you will also reap. The Lord has said, "Them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed." You may suppose that your reasonings are very clear and sharp. Nebuchadnezzar thought the same. Warnings were given him in dreams, and no one of his wise men could interpret them. Daniel alone was found to interpret the dreams of the king, and to add words given him of God, to exhort the king to repentance and reformation.     

     Daniel said to the king, "O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity." But the king did not heed the message of Daniel. For twelve months he was tested and proved of God, to see if he would humble his proud heart, and the witness was with him when he came in and when he went out; and at the end of the twelve months he walked in his palace in the kingdom of Babylon. "The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." 


     The king's reason was taken away, and the word of God was fulfilled to the very letter. For seven years his kingdom was ruled by others, while the might and mind and power of the king were humbled. He ate grass as an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven. "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honor and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."       Before   Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall of the king's palace, he rehearsed the experience of Nebuchadnezzar before Belshazzar. "Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let they gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation. O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor: and for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: and he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: 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 ruleth in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou and thy lords, thy wives and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them: and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Tekel;' Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."  YI, November 9, 1893