Mene, Tekel, & Parsin:
Our lives in the Balnce
Greetings and Peace to you!
Yesterday, the story of Daniel and King Belshazzar’s feast is in the daily office. A great Old Testament story, it has significance for us today with respect to our commitment to Christ. You can find the story in the book of Daniel, chapter five.
The story begins by telling how the king took the Vessels of God, stolen by Nebuchadnezzar; his father, and used them for a pagan feast in Babylon, (modern Iraq). The vessels made by the Israelites in the wilderness, were for use in the Tabernacle, and eventually, the Temple in Jerusalem. Israel counted them as being holy and sanctified, (set apart unto Jehovah). Our New Testament writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that these instruments were a type and shadow of the real vessels of the New Covenant; us.
Now the story goes on that the King saw a mystical “hand-writing” on the wall, “Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin,” which means “numbered, weighed and divided.” Eventually, the king called on Daniel to interpret the writing. The outcome; the kings days were numbered, his own life was weighed by his actions, and the kingdom was overthrown by the Medes and Persians. How does this story apply to us?
Our lives are often numbered, weighed and divided in modern society, in our personal lives, and in our parishes. Sometimes this truth is negative and sometimes it is positive. We are God’s vessels. (II Timothy 2:21). We are meant to be so for His honor. Paul tells Timothy that there are honorable lives and those lived in dishonor, much like the king of Babylon. In all honesty, I can say that I have lived both. It is, in fact, a constant struggle to live a life of honor, save by the Grace of God. Enough has been said about lives of dishonor, there has been enough preaching about what not to be…. I would rather hear and speak the positive side, the things I can do to live in honor of Christ.
Listen; God know our days (Mene), that our lives are often weighed by our own choices (Tekel), and that His grace given to us is to be divided (Parsin) out of us to produce growth and honor. This is the positive side; the principles that the king of Babylon would have done well by learning them. God’s grace is given to us according to Jesus’ numbers’; (Eph 4:7-8). These gifts and talents meant for His use are weighed by our actions and choices. They increase according to how and how often we exercise them. I peter 4:10, II Cor 10:12. The greater we distribute God’s grace to others, the greater vessels we become, in the sense of mercy and humility. The more we give, the more we have to give to others. Check out John 3:34:
“For he whom God hath sent speaks the words of God: for he gives not the Spirit by measure.” Wow! God gave Christ the Spirit without measure, and on the day of Pentecost, God gave us that same Spirit of unending power and grace to fill our lives, the vessels of modern day worship. As we receive and dispense, He will keep measuring out more to us. As we give to others, He flows through us. This is the positive good news. It is a process.
Even when we fail and seemingly act dishonorably in God’s sight, if we are receiving the “flow” of His grace, that process cleanses us and makes us into a worthy vessel once again! We are vessels of Grace.
May God Radicalize you as a vessel of honor this week! Amen.
Mene Tekel Parsin
Mene, Tekel, & Parsin: