Don’t Invoke God Wrath
Bible Reading: Daniel 5:17-30
17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.
20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:
21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
23 But hast lifted up thyself against the LORD of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:
24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
God is a gracious, merciful and mighty indeed! He is a jealous God, despite that He is merciful and tender-hearted, and slow to chide; He does not keep His wrath forever. Moreover, His wrath will deal with disobedience forever. What else do you know God for? What you know Him for will form your attitude towards Him. If you know as the God that will not allow sinners to go unpunished you will surely run away from sins and close to Him wholeheartedly.
How Can A Man Provoke God?
There are several ways one can provoke God. Let us consider few:
1. Demonstrating pride: Pride is one of the attitudes that cause God wrath upon man. One of the sins that pull down Satan out of heaven is pride. He desire to be like God, and God sent him out of heaven to the earth.
In Daniel 5:20-21, it was clear that, a king was deposed as a result of his pride. “But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointed over it whomsoever he will.”
The handwriting on the wall in the palace of Belshazzar was assign that God was angry with the king. When Daniel eventually interpreted the writing, it became clear that the king, by is action, had actually angered God, and the consequences must follow (vv.22-24). Beloved, what is that thing that GOD is recorded on your history?
In Isaiah 23:9, God said: “The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.”
Beloved, God anger against the proud is irreversible! If you have attitude of pride, earlier is better to confess it and let it go out of your heart.
2. Idolatry: Idolatry is another way that one can provoke the anger of God. God is GOD and He never agrees with anyone that does NOT take Him as number one and major priority in his/her life.
In Exodus, God specifically declared His zero-tolerance regarding rivalry with other gods. God will not allow Himself to be rivaled. Nothing or nobody should be before God. God is eternal, He is Alpha and Omega. Is that really the case with YOU today? Is God number one priority in your daily activities? Where do you place God in your plan? There are many things that people tend to worship before God today, such as money, work, business, beauty, ceremonies, films, chatting, etc. The more you value and concentrate on these things than God, you are worshiping idols.
The Bible commanded us to flee from idolatry. “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” 1Corithians 10:14
You are commanded to flee, run away, and escape from the punishment of idolatry. Remember the punishment of idolatry is the anger of God.
3. Transgression: God has commands that must be obeyed completely. The psalmist says, if I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me. Sin always pitches us against God. In 1Samuel 15:22-24, it was clear that God anger against Saul because of his transgression to the commandment of God.
“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.”
Beloved, do you see how someone can cause the wrath of God upon himself? Do you see how God is NOT respecting anybody? Do you see how someone can lose the glorious things that God given to him/her through disobedience? Mind you, obedience is far better than eyes service!
4. Misrepresentation: The friends of job, rather than speaking the mind of God (word of consolation), comfort and encouragement, they further compounded the anguished men’s woe, and God expressed dissatisfaction. His wrath burnt against them until they approached job for blessing. Say whatever God ask you to say; don’t go beyond Him. Don’t prove you are too wise.
1. Father, kill the spirit of pride in me with your fire in the name of Jesus
2. Lord, don’t let me provoke you to anger with my actions, in Jesus’ name.
3. Father fill me with the Spirit of humility in name of Jesus
4. Lord, help me to be sensitive to the way you see whatever I intend doing, in Jesus’ name.
5. Lord, help your church to always please you and fulfill your will in the name of Jesus