FOUND WANTING: Disobedience Against God’s Command

“Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.” “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.”Daniel‬ 5:24&27‬

This is a story of how helpless and negligent a disobedient fellow can be. Belshazzar inherited his father, Nebuchadnezzar’s throne after his death. He one day threw a party and invited many to join him celebrate. At his command, he ordered for the gold and silver cups and goblets his father seized from Israel’s temple, and drank from them, while praising the gods of Gold, Silver and Bronze (5:2-4). To his dismay, a hand wrote on the wall. The king was fearful and perplexed. Being helpless he called his astrologers and magicians couldn’t interpret what the hand wrote. I want us to focus on one of the interpretations in Daniel 5:7.

The Weighing

Being weighed in this context means been tried or tested, or being observed carefully. That’s what God did to Belshazzar. He ascertained his ability to submit to, or acknowledge Him. That means God observed him to determine his respect for Him and His holy things. “You’ve been weighed…” here could also mean that God did this over a period of time. But the king failed this through his actions.

In your life, God weighs you. He does that by testing your obedience to Him, and the motives behind your actions. In other words, He tests your heart (1 Thessalonians 2:4). He knows you are human, so He does this to test your positioning in Him. He does not look on the outward remember. He is an expert in weighing your inner thoughts and forces. 

Found Wanting

Found wanting means anything in your life or walk with God that is inadequate per God’s standards. An object on a scale is found wanting when it doesn’t meet a standard weight. When I was in primary school, I had to be a certain weight before I could play in an inter-schools competition. I couldn’t meet the standard weight. That is, I was found wanting, so I wasn’t allowed to play.   Daniel told the king that he has been found wanting. Belshazzar lacked reverence for holy things and ignored God, knowing his father’s experiences with God. You are found wanting when you don’t meet God’s expectations for your life, based on His Word and instructions to you. 

Using Belshazzar’s story, God finds you wanting when you disregard and do not revere what God calls holy – humans and objects alike. You may be quick to say God does not live in objects. It’s true but He respects those objects once they are dedicated to His service. The Hebrew word these objects is ‘qodesh’ (consecrated).   In addition, you are found wanting when you ignore God’s Word, both from the Bible and what He has personally told you. This makes you a disobedient child. Once you do this, you open yourself up to its effects, except the Lord has mercy on you.      You are also found wanting when your motive for doing the things you do (whether good or bad) are wrong. That is, when the condition of your heart is not right with God with the decisions or actions you take. Belshazzar’s motives for using God’s holy things were totally wrong. 

We all need to align to God’s expectations or standards in terms or obedience to Him, how we treat holy things, and our motives for doing things. Otherwise, like Belshazzar, many aspects of your life may be found wanting. That will mean that you will not be able to live like one who is a child of God. Examine your life in the light of these standards. Don’t be found wanting!

May the Lord mend our nets!

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