We’ve all heard the term “the writing is on the wall.” You may not be aware, but that phrase comes from Daniel 5 where a disembodied hand literally wrote on a wall. Like Thing from The Addams Family. Weird, I know! Listen to what the hand wrote,
Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin. This is the interpretation of the matter: Mene, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; Tekel, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting…” Daniel 5:25-27
“You have been weighed and found wanting.” The Babylonians didn’t weigh enough. As a culture, we tend to be fairly concerned about weight loss. In fact, the total U.S. weight loss industry hit a new peak in 2018, growing to $72 billion. We are so consumed with losing weight, but maybe that’s the wrong goal; maybe we should focus on gaining weight.
The phrase “you have been weighed and found wanting” is generally taken to mean that the kingdom lacked moral worth. The kingdom they were building was not made with material that leads to eternal impact. The kingdom looked good from the outside, but it was hollow on the inside. They were puffed up, but they were not healthy. Some lives can look that way too; the right activities are present and the correct truths are affirmed, but when it comes to becoming a disciple and embracing Jesus’ mission, there is a weightlessness. We can go through the motions without becoming the kind of people Jesus is inviting us to become.
If you were weighed by the Lord, would you be found wanting? Does your life have eternal substance to it? The Apostle Paul affirmed that each life would be weighed when he wrote,
12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. (1 Corinthians 3:12-13)
We are all building a life that either has eternal or temporal substance. Today, think about the way you are building and the material you are using. Think about your words, your resources, and your time – they shape the life you’re building. Choose to courageously sit with Jesus and let him weigh you and then invite him to show you a path toward gaining weight.
Pastor Ryan Paulson