Beth Moore - Hand Writing On the Wall - Part 2
I started thinking to myself, when it comes to knots, there are perhaps three kinds of people. Those who love to tie knots, anybody? I find it interesting that God would have me give this lesson at exactly this time because Keith and I have an extended family member that just loves to tie knots. Anybody know what I'm talking about? I mean, everything will be going pretty well in the family, not perfectly. I'm not talking about a false peace. I'm just talking about everybody's trying to get along, for crying out loud. I need to have some company in the room. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Just everybody's just trying to get along for a while, but there's just got to be somebody that keeps everyone in the family tied in knots.
And I have to wonder what is that about? Anybody? I don't know but I think knots, if I'm picturing it right, are a way to keep us from seeing straight, don't you think? Because it's just all wound up in there. Like, who even knows where the first knot started? Because the next knot gets tied so fast, I mean, like, we don't even know where was the first knot? What was it about? Who knows? What was down here to start with? There are people that love to just keep everybody around them tied in knots. The epitome of knotty, and I don't mean N-A-U-G-H-T-Y, but K-N-O-T-T-Y, knotty. And then there are those who learn to live in knots.
And in Jesus's name, I think one reason he has us here tonight is to talk us out of just resigning ourselves that we are going to spend every day of our lives with acid indigestion and all manner of intestine tied in knots. Aren't you tired of it? What would happen if, though they kept tying the knots, you just decided not to be knotted up with it? What if you allowed the knotty one to just get in a knot by himself, get in a knot by herself? Does anybody need any help in the house tonight? What if we stepped out of the knot and we ask God to start untying us?
I can remember a time like yesterday that was many, many years ago, when God determined in my family to get hold of a situation, and my insides had been knotted up for so long that a couple of weeks later my family and I were sitting in a restaurant, happened to be Olive Garden, and it was in Tomball at the time, by Willowbrook Mall. And I, all of a sudden, was aware that my stomach that had been wrung and twisted like a dishrag was beginning to unwind. There's somebody in this room it's been a knot for so long you don't even know how that's possible. But that brings us to the third kind of person, and that's the one who helps untie the knot. I'ma tell you this. The world is in desperate need of some detanglers, don't you think?
If you asked me today, "Beth, what is one of the biggest needs you see in the body of Christ," I would tell you right now, "It is really, really good, godly, Christ-centered therapists". I'm sorry, I know you wanted something better than that. We could use some people that could help detangle some of the knots in our lives. Do you know one? Can you find one? And I'm gonna tell you, if they escape you and you don't know where to go, I can tell you a God who can untie knots. And it is a beautiful thing when we begin asking him to do it. I mean, like, you could start today. Today, today. You only have to leave here tonight before you started. Just, "Lord, I don't even know how this started. But I can't fix so-and-so, but I would ask you in the name of Jesus, you who are the ultimate at untying knots, would you begin to untie the one in me"?
And you know, if it's been long enough and there's enough knots in it, it might take a while, but I think that could be so that we can get a little insight into every single loop how in the world did it get there. So often, the way that we learn to live in knots is because we learned how to live from people who also lived in knots. So everything around us, every example we've had, everybody lives in knots. What if you started a new way? What if you did not stop loving, but you just stopped getting entangled in somebody else's big mess where you could just even see straight? I think that's part of what's on the table tonight, is a God that gives people a problem solving and that the giver of the gift is the ultimate untier of all knots.
I love Eugene Peterson's translation of Mark 4:33-34 in The Message: "With many stories like these," it's talking about Jesus and his parables. "With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. And when he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots". Don't you love the idea that you could just say to Jesus, "What in the world was that"? I mean, have you ever seen something you knew, "I think that was significant, but I've no idea why"? Whether it was an event, an occurrence of some kind, a moment that you know somehow, "Lord, what a word picture was that".
What does that even mean? Get alone with him, get some insight from him. Let him sort out the tangles, untying the knots. Okay, so let's go to 13 through 16. So we've seen the Taunt, we've seen the Retort, the hand of God writing on the plaster wall, right by the lamp. And now, we're gonna see the Request: "Then Daniel was brought before the king. And the king said to him, 'Are you Daniel, one of the Judean exiles that my predecessor the king brought from Judah? I've heard that you have a spirit of the gods in you, and that insight, intelligence, and extraordinary wisdom are found in you. Now the wise men and mediums were brought before me to read this inscription and make its interpretation known to me, but they could not give me its interpretation.
However, I've heard about you that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Therefore, if you can read this inscription and give me its interpretation, you'll be clothed in purple, have a gold chain around your neck, and have the third highest position in the kingdom.'" The Request. Did you notice that he begins by reminding him who he is? "Aren't you the captive"? He's a prisoner. "Aren't you one of the exiles that Nebuchadnezzar took from Jerusalem"? Oh, I'm gonna tell you something. There can be all manner of tactic going on when someone needs something from us, but feels that we are beneath them, and they hate to ask. So, it's got to start with some way of putting yourself in your place, reminding you, reminding me, that we are beneath the one who is requesting something of us, that we surely cannot resist.
"You are low, Daniel, but you do what I need, and I will make you high". Oh, there's nothing that can make you high like somebody who can take you from your lowest state and make you a good deal. 5:17, Daniel's response: "Daniel answered the king, 'You may keep your gifts and give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription for the king and make the interpretation known to him.'" "You can keep your gifts. You can keep your promotion, you can keep all your rewards and all your awards". Here's what we got so far. We got the Taunt, we got the Retort, we've got the Queen Mother's Referral, we got the Request, and now Daniel responds by redrawing the boundaries. "Oh, I'm going to help you. I'll give you the interpretation, but I do not need your favors".
Here are a couple of mottos. I told you that we were gonna have about three mottos. We've already seen the motto of the attention-getter. And can you remind me what it was? Because it started like this: "If I can't shine, I'll go for," what? "I'll just go for shock". Well, this one, this is not the attention-getter. This is the Daniel. This is based on his example for us. I wanna suggest to you this motto: "Do good things but keep it clean". "Do good things but keep it clean". Keep those lines clean. Do everything you can not to get all knotted up with somebody that does not have the same purpose and the same surrendered agenda to the things of Christ that you do. Do good things but keep it clean. Keep it clean. Don't let them get you in the mud with them. Keep it clean. Do what you can, but you keep it clean.
Jesus taught his disciples about the very real temptation and perhaps even the natural inclination to sell our lives, to sell ourselves, to sell our souls. "What would it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his life? You that are willing to lose your life in me," he said to his disciples, "will find it. You that are intent on having to find it, will lose it". He warned them that it's our inclination, our very strong inclination, to somehow gain some part of the world that takes selling our own souls. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says this. These are the words of the apostle Paul: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own".
This is third and last motto: "I am not my own and I am not for sale". I am not my own, I belong to the Lord. But I'll tell you this, I am not for sale. I want you to know that God's never gonna put you up for sale, never, never. You belong. If you have faith in Christ, you belong to God. You are his. You're talking about something I'd like to have just tattooed across my forehead. I am not my own, but I am not for sale. I'm not for sale. You know, there are some words that I just love. I've just thought of it. There are other words that I just don't like. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Like, just like the sound of the word. You don't even know what it is you have against it. You just don't like, but I love the word "cahoots". Cahoots. To be in cahoots means we're like, "we're in with them. In the hut".
But I'm gonna tell you something. There's a high price to the hut. We want out in the pasture where the sheep are. Think carefully before you want to be in the hut, because there's a price to pay. And there's the expectation of loyalty. I don't want anybody to misunderstand me. This is not about fellowship. I believe so much in the community of faith and fellow believers in our joined lives, but we talk more about that than we talk about what we're saying tonight. Sometimes, we need a lesson on be very careful who you tie your lives to because that knot can be extremely hard to untie, and it can be costly. We wanna be loving, gracious people, serving people, helping people, sacrificial people, godly people, and to any people, literally to any people, whether or not they are in the faith. But we are owned by no one but God, good to all because of Christ, owned by none except for Christ.
Chapter 5, verse 17 where it says: "Then Daniel answered the king, 'You may keep your gifts and give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription for the king and make the interpretation known to him. Your Majesty, the Most High God gave sovereignty, greatness, glory, and majesty to your predecessor Nebuchadnezzar. Because of the greatness he gave to him, all peoples, nations, and languages were terrified and fearful of him. He killed anyone he wanted; he kept alive anyone he wanted; he exalted anyone he wanted; he humbled anyone he wanted. But when his heart was exalted and his spirit became arrogant, he was deposed from his royal throne and his glory was taken from him.'"
Verse 21: "'He was driven away from people, his mind was like an animal's, and he lived with the wild donkeys, he fed on grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with dew from the sky until he acknowledged that the Most High God is ruler over human kingdoms and sets anyone he wants over them. But you his successor, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this. Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heavens. The vessels from his house were brought to you, and as you and your nobles, wives, and concubines drank wine from them, you praised the gods made of silver and gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or understand. But you have not glorified the God who holds your life-breath in his hand and controls the whole course of your life.'"
You know what's mind-blowing about this? This is a pagan king, and God is going, "I need you to know that whether you believe in me or not, I hold the entire course of your life in my hands," phew. Okay, verse 24. It's just the best. I am not recommending the series, "Stranger Things," I'm not, in any way. But I am saying if there is "Scriptural Stranger Things," there are at least enough episodes in the book of Daniel to make up one entire season of "Stranger Things". Please listen to verse 24 from the CSB: "'Therefore, he sent the hand, and this writing was inscribed.'"
Let me tell you something. We want the hand of God upon us. We want the hand of God to hold us. He says that we are engraved on the palm of his hand. We want his hand to be with us. We want his hand to empower us. What we don't want is The Hand. And what Belshazzar got was The Hand. I mean, I'm gonna tell you, I don't know about you, but it will be months from now, when I see something really blasphemous, I'm gonna think, "Oh, The Hand. You're really, really risking The Hand". Let me read 25 through 31 and end that chapter with you. "'This is the writing that was inscribed.'"
So now, he is gonna tell him what it is. Now there are all sorts of theories on what has happened where they couldn't read it, and one of 'em is that maybe they could have read the consonants if they had that much understanding of the Aramaic but they would not have known the vowels to put with it. So he is transcribing it to them. He's gonna interpret it to them and he says it this way, in 25: "'This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. This is the interpretation of the message: "Mene" means that God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end.'"
I love that it's said twice. Why? Ask God. We just have no idea. But it's like, "Mene, mene". Mene, mene. And it's like, "numbered, numbered". Like, it wasn't enough to say, "Your days are numbered". It's God going, "Numbered, numbered". "Numbered, numbered". "'Tekel' means you have been weighed on the balance and found deficient. 'Peres' means that your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians". My daughters are so hilarious, so hilarious. And I cannot tell you how many times, my oldest daughter can speak in full King James, like, I mean, like, she could have a whole conversation with you and never ever depart from the King James. I mean, she's just like, she's just perfect. Just perfect. Just so fun, and so quick, and so witty, both of 'em are.
But I cannot tell you how many times Amanda has texted me, "Mene, mene, tekel, Parsin". Just like, and it's just like, what she's basically going is, "We need an interpretation. We need an interpretation. What on earth is going on"? He tells him what it is. "Your kingdom has been divided," and it says in verse 29: "Then Belshazzar gave an order, and they clothed Daniel in purple, placed a gold chain around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom".
Now, he's already said, "You know what? You can keep your stuff". And he's like, standing there like this and they're putting all this stuff on. He's going, like, "Knock yourself out, but I owe you nothing". And then it says: "That very night Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was killed, and Darius the Mede received the kingdom at the age of sixty-two". Sometimes, there's handwriting on the wall. Wouldn't you agree with that? Like, we're still going, like, "What do you want me to do, Lord? What do you want me to do"?
Well, he's written it on the wall 50 times. I have a good friend, you remember when... I don't know if it's been a while. It's been a while since I played Pictionary. Have y'all ever played Pictionary? You have, you know, I don't remember how long you have now. It seems like it's either 30 seconds or a minute, and what you do is, with your team, you look and see what you're supposed to draw and you have that long to draw it while they're guessing what it is. Well, my friend Debbie, what she would do is that she would take the first 5 seconds to draw it and then the rest of the time while we're trying to holler what we think it could be, she just points at it, like, "What else can I do for you"?
And we're just, I mean, we're just going like, well, I mean, screaming answers like this. None of 'em are right, and she's just still going, like, "What do you want me to say? This is it". And it's just, "God," we're going like, "What do you want me to do? What do you want me to do"? He goes: "I wrote it. I already wrote it. I already wrote it right there".
Some things are just, like, plain. Obey him, and get on with it. Watch the knots start untangling 'cause part of the reason we're tangled up in a knot, if you're like me, is because I keep being slow to obey. "Beth, did I say 'Go' or did I say 'Stay'? What did I tell you to do"? "Well, I just, I feel like this is just about to work out". Anybody? "We're at the edge of a breakthrough, we're at the edge of a breakthrough, we're at the edge of a breakthrough". I'm gonna tell you what's gonna break through. The Hand, that's what's gonna break through. "I'm about to come after you with The Hand. Do you want The Hand to come and get you"? Anybody know what I'm saying to 'em?