Monday, November 5, 2012

The woman who ran the Kingdom

Something struck me in Daniel today, listening to Chuck Swindoll on the way to the gym:
Look at the state of the Kingdom after Nebuchadnezzar dies - his own line was completely uninterested in ruling, merely in stuffing themselves with food and getting drunk with wine. Starting at 5:9
Then King Belshazzar was greatly troubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were astonished. The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came to the banquet hall. 
Why? Because she was busy elsewhere. Like in running the Kingdom.
 The queen spoke, saying, "O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts trouble you, nor let your countenance change. There is a man in your kingdom in whom [is] the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; 
Now I can't imagine this well, because I'm not a woman, but imagine being married to a deadbeat ruler who cared not one whit for the lives of the thousands or millions of people that he oversaw, of hearing of the advancing Persian armies and the wars on your border and knowing that it was all up to you.
In fact the state of things was so bad that this worthless king didn't even know about the affairs of his own father. He has to be told:
and King Nebuchadnezzar your father--your father the king--made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, [and] soothsayers. 
How long can an empire (or a republic) stand when there is no man willing to be a man, but only a boy? Or worse, an intemperate beast, enslaved to his own animal appetites?
What strikes me in this is not the extraordinary writing on the wall, but the ordinary appointed course of providence to bring judgement on the lazy, the evil, and the stupid. Their own lives give them their own due reward.

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