Pastor Jim Stultz
Worth Listening To
There are so many voices clamoring for our ear-space in today’s culture. These voices may be political, or moral, or even religious. We can listen to politicians, to newscasters, and even preachers. How do we determine who is worth listening to?
In the book of Daniel chapter 5, King Belshazzar had a feast. It was a drunken party accompanied by blasphemy and idolatry with plenty of loose women present. In the midst of the unrestrained reveling a hand appears and writes on the wall. The writing cannot be deciphered by any of the experts. The queen has an idea. She remembers an old man named Daniel who greatly helped the king’s grandfather Nebuchadnezzar with revealing mysteries. Daniel is called and reveals the handwriting on the wall.
What made Daniel worth listening to? Why should people listen to us? What qualities give us legitimacy when we proclaim the truth of God. The first thing that I notice is that Daniel did not attend the party; they had to send for him. He was not one of those engaged in degenerate activity and wild living. He was separate from the sensuality going on at the feast. If we are going to be proclaimers of God’s truth, we must not violate that truth by sinful living. The second thing that gave Daniel a hearing is the fact that he had a consistent reputation of faithfulness to God over the long haul. Starting as a teenage exile from Judah, Daniel’s purpose held firm. People may not like us or believe us, but they cannot deny our consistent testimony for the Lord. One more thing that made Daniels’s words worth listening to is that he was not afraid to proclaim the truth. He had the audacity to tell the king that his reign was coming to an end because he had brazenly blasphemed the God of heaven and exalted idols.
In the midst of the world’s wild party, I believe the handwriting is on the wall. Judgment is coming, repentance is needed. We have a duty to speak truth to our culture. However, are we people worth listening to?