Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
A Prayer of David
“Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and distressed, needy and desiring. Preserve my life, for I am godly and dedicated; O my God, save Your servant for I trust in You, leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, without fear or doubt. Be merciful and gracious to me, O Lord, for to You do I cry all the day.”
Father, Lead Me Day by Day
“Father, lead me day by day,
Ever in Thine own sweet way;
Teach me to be pure and true;
Show me what I ought to do!
When in danger, make me brave;
Make me know that Thou canst save;
Keep me safe by Thy dear side;
Let me in Thy love abide.
When I’m tempted to do wrong,
Make me steadfast, wise, and strong;
And when all alone I stand,
Shield me with Thy mighty hand.
May I do the good I know,
Be Thy loving child below,
Then at last go home to Thee,
Evermore Thy child to be.”
Today’s Study Text:
“He (Belshazzar) yelled out for the enchanters, the fortunetellers, and the diviners to come. He told these Babylonian magi, ‘Anyone who can read this writing on the wall and tell me what it means will be famous and rich – purple robe, the great gold chain – and be third-in-command in the kingdom.’ One after the other they tried, but could make no sense of it. They could neither read what was written nor interpret it to the king. So now the king was really frightened. All the blood drained from his face. The nobles were in a panic.”
The Message Bible
“Earthly Power Versus Heavenly Purpose – Part 8
“When Trouble Comes He Is The Place To Go!”
“Prayer is seed sown on the heart of God.”
Andrew A. Bonar
Have I ever found myself questioning whether I should take some need in my life to God because I think He might not be interested in my personal troubles?
In the emergencies of my life, who is the first person I think about calling for help?
“When we feel least like praying is the time when we most need to pray.”
R. A. Torrey
“Prayer is a declaration of our dependence on God. It isn’t something mechanical you do, it is somewhere you go to meet Someone you know.”
King Belshazzar was frantic. You and I might have found ourselves in the very same position if we were whooping it up at a party, with little concern for the sacred. Then all of a sudden, a finger began to write on the plaster wall: “MÉNÉ, MÉNÉ, TÉKÉL, ÜPHAR-SIN.”
Obviously, in a state of utter confusion, Belshazzar, the Bible tells us, yelled out loudly, literally screaming for the court “enchanters, soothsayers, the Chaldean diviners, and the astrologers, the wise men of Babylon” to come immediately to the banquet hall to interpret the message.
At least on this particular occasion, the king had not forgotten his dream as in the case with King Nebuchadnezzar. It wasn’t difficult to see the words emblazoned high above the party-goers.
The Bible doesn’t tell us how long it took for “the best of the wisest” in Babylon to get into the feast but once they gathered, more bad news awaited the king. Daniel 5: 8 reveals the fact that: “all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation of it.” It is fascinating to note that Daniel doesn’t just stop with the fact that these supposedly brilliant prognosticators couldn’t even give King Belshazzar a hint as to what the writing meant. In reality, these fortune-tellers were completely baffled at the meaning of the letters. And their befuddled behavior only provoked the king who’s state-of-mind was fragile at best. Daniel tells us that, “King Belshazzar was greatly perplexed and alarmed and the color faded from his face, and his lords were puzzled and astounded” (Daniel 5: 9, Amplified Bible).
Talk about a state of confusion! I would call this “pandemonium” on steroids. Actually, the scene in the godless feasting hall of Belshazzar directed my thoughts to the spectacle written about in the last book of the Bible, Revelation. The Apostle John, in his portrayal of the great day of the Lord has this to say: “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, along with every commoner, slave or free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and rocks, ‘fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6: 14-17, N.I.V. and The Message Bible).
We might stop and ask ourselves why it was that King Belshazzar didn’t call upon the God of heaven and earth when in trouble? The same might be asked of those in Revelation who call on the rocks and mountains to fall on them.
Actually, the answer is simple and direct. How can I call out for help in trouble from “Someone” I don’t know? How can I ask for the hand of the Almighty to come to my aid if I have never spent time in communion with Him? Obviously, even with the witness of Nebuchadnezzar, King Belshazzar apparently didn’t learn any lessons about the Rulership of God upon His throne. And so when in a time of trouble, the foolish king called on the foolish people of earth.
During that time in history, when God’s glory was feared because the inhabitants of earth ignorantly bowed before gods made by human hands, the result followed that in their times of trouble, they fearfully trembled for they didn’t have any idea where they should go for help.
Sadly, history frequently repeats itself as the inhabitants of earth ignore the God of heaven and earth who asks for allegiance of His children in this day and time as well. Where will we go when trouble comes calling? Praise God, He is the place for His children to go. He is our Strong Tower – a Stronghold in times of trouble. And His promises are sure to you and me today: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me” (Psalm 138: 7).
Holder of My Fears
“Blessed be Thou, Jesus Christ,
holder of my fears.
They tremble like small birds in Your hands,
desperately struggling to get free.
Am I losing my sight? Will my child be safe?
Can I do my job? Will I be loved?
Am I good enough? There’s no time!
You hold each securely in warm, strong hands.
You stroke them tenderly until they relax.
They fall asleep in the nest of Your embrace.
And when all my fears are calmed,
You hold only me.
Beloved be Thou, Jesus Christ.
Carol K. Everson
“The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?...Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, even then in this will I be confident…for in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.”
“I will call upon the Lord, Who is to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies…In my distress, when seemingly closed in, I called upon the Lord and cried to my God; He heard my voice out of His heavenly dwelling place, and my cry came before Him, into His very ears.”
When Trouble Comes
“My Lord…my dear Lord
Again this morning
As I read the words of the Psalmist
You refreshed my heart
And replenished my hope:
‘When trouble comes He is the place to go’
Always I am unnerved
By its unannounced entrance
Into the secret corridors of my soul.
Pushing through with frightening force
It comes in sinister shapes and sizes,
I am never prepared for its onslaught.
Fashioned as pain it overwhelms me.
As sorrow it grieves me.
As disappointment it numbs me.
As failure it defeats me.
As anxiety it entangles me.
In a perilous net of depression.
I have boldly underlined David’s words:
‘When trouble comes He is the place to go.’
How foolish to go running
From friend to friend
From place to place
When You have promised to deliver me.
It is in Your proximity
That my frantic fears dissolve.
‘When trouble comes He is the place to go.’
In the margin of my Bible I have written
Ruth Harms Calkin
“Call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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