“But you… have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this. Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of the heavens… Therefore, he sent the hand…” Daniel 5:22,24
In the early years of our marriage, when I was still in school, things were pretty tight. Our budget didn’t leave much room for discretionary spending. We learned all the sound financial principles of how to manage a household budget and lived very frugally. As time passed, life pressures increased and we made some poor financial decisions. Each one seemed small at the time, but they began to add up. Later, when a major medical crisis came, we were unprepared.
Later, we learned there was a name for this from financial advisor Dave Ramsey. He refers to these types of decisions as paying the “stupid tax” or making financial decisions that we already know are bad when we make them. We can sometimes fool ourselves into thinking that it will all turn out just fine. We had somehow forgotten what we already “knew.”
When Daniel begins to answer King Belshazzar, he reminds him of the fact that his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar had been given all of the power, glory and splendor that he possessed by God. He reminds him that God had taken it all away because Nebuchadnezzar refused to acknowledge “that the Most High God is sovereign over all the kingdoms on earth” (Dan. 5: 21). If only Belshazzar had remembered the humbling of his grandfather, humbled himself before God, instead of shaking his fist at God until he saw the writing on the wall and it was too late.
In 2 Peter the apostle Peter tells us that God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of God (2 Peter 1:3). He wants us to know and to remember that God is the one who has all power to accomplish his purposes, and that he gives us everything that we need to live out his calling on our lives and for his kingdom. But he also knows that we are all inclined to forget what we know.
A little later he says, “I will always remind you about these things, even though you know them…” (2 Peter 1:12) Can you hear the tenderness of his voice? “I know you know these things, but I’m going to keep telling you so you don’t ever forget.”
Reflect today on the ways that you have determined to actively remember the gospel truths you “already know.” Spend a few minutes remembering that our sovereign God is firmly seated on his throne, accomplishing all that he has planned for our good and for his glory. Then, like Peter, encourage someone today by reminding them that the Most High God is sovereign over all, because we all need to remember not to forget.
Children’s Ministry Director