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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Convergence of Stupid

This afternoon I was working through Daniel 5.  You probably know the story.  Nebuchadnezzer’s son, Belshazzar, has become king.  He inherited the kingdom, he apparently does not inherit nor learn from Nebuchadnezzer’s experience with God.
A Convergence of Stupid
The scene opens with a description of an environment that can produce nothing good.  An opulent large party, showing off, and drinking.  Not a formula for any good thing.  Belshazzar thinks it would be cool to bring out the items his dad took from the temple in Jerusalem in order to give his guest some really nice cups with which to get drunk.  Huge, big, epic mistake.  Cut to the chase by the end of the night Belshazzar was no more.

In Daniel 4 Nebuchadnezzar was warned not to take credit for his glory.  He did.  He got to eat grass for roughly (pun intended) seven years.  He came to his senses and repented and acknowledged that his kingdom was from God.

The interesting question is why Belshazzar did not learn from his dad’s experience.  Daniel told Belshazzar that he should have known better, 5:22.  So what are some of the implications?

Nebuchadnezzar was able to keep from taking credit for 12 months.  His son pretty much, well in the Bible we do not have much data, but this is the first time he is mentioned and he is in the process of blowing it big time.  One would hope that Nebuchadnezzar would have instructed his son.  He had learned the hard way that God did what He promised.  That God was not to be trifled with and that He was the one that granted leadership.  Either he did not tell his son, or the lesson did not take.  We know from the text that Belshazzar knew what happened to his dad.  So ignorance isn’t the problem, stupid is.  You can’t fix stupid.

As parents it is incumbent on us to teach our kids what we know about the Lord.  Both testaments are full of references that demand that of fathers.  One that we have shared here many times is Deuteronomy 6:6 – 7, 20 – 25.  Not to do so when we know better is not ignorance, it is stupid.

We have no control over how our kids respond to what we share with them.  We do have control over whether we are stupid or not.