Daniel 5:25-28 MSG
25 and this is what is written: MENE, TEQEL, and PERES.
26 This is what the words mean: “Mene: God has numbered the days of your rule and they don’t add up.
27 “Teqel: You have been weighed on the scales and you don’t weigh much.
28 “Peres: Your kingdom has been divided up and handed over to the Medes and Persians.”
Imagine yourself, you are running from the law because you have a message for your nation, one that is condemnation and makes the citizens squirm in their flesh. Your government has put a bounty on your head. You are living on nothing but honey and locusts. You hide yourself in caves.
You have been told that you are different, set aside even before you were conceived. You have been told that God has chosen you for a mission, but you don’t like being put under the spotlight. You know that if you are caught by the army it means your death.
The reason why you are running from the authorities is because the message you have been given to speak is one of judgment.
This is just not a hypothetical, it is true, found in the Old Testament and the man is Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 1: (MSG)
1 The Message of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah of the family of priests who lived in Anathoth in the country of Benjamin.
2 GOD’s Message began to come to him during the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amos reigned over Judah.
3 It continued to come to him during the time Jehoiakim son of Josiah reigned over Judah. And it continued to come to him clear down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah over Judah, the year that Jerusalem was taken into exile.
4 This is what GOD said:
5 “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations— that’s what I had in mind for you.”
6 But I said, “Hold it, Master GOD! Look at me. I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!”
7 GOD told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’ I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there. I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it.
8 Don’t be afraid of a soul. I’ll be right there, looking after you.” GOD’s Decree.
9 GOD reached out, touched my mouth, and said, “Look! I’ve just put my words in your mouth—hand-delivered!
10 See what I’ve done? I’ve given you a job to do among nations and governments—a red-letter day! Your job is to pull up and tear down, take apart and demolish, And then start over, building and planting.”
11 GOD’s Message came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “A walking stick—that’s all.”
12 And GOD said, “Good eyes! I’m sticking with you. I’ll make every word I give you come true.”
13 GOD’s Message came again: “So what do you see now?” I said, “I see a boiling pot, tipped down toward us.”
14 Then GOD told me, “Disaster will pour out of the north on everyone living in this land.
15 Watch for this: I’m calling all the kings out of the north.” GOD’s Decree. “They’ll come and set up headquarters facing Jerusalem’s gates, Facing all the city walls, facing all the villages of Judah.
16 I’ll pronounce my judgment on the people of Judah for walking out on me—what a terrible thing to do!— And courting other gods with their offerings, worshiping as gods sticks they’d carved, stones they’d painted.
17 “But you—up on your feet and get dressed for work! Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say. Don’t pull your punches or I’ll pull you out of the lineup.
18 “Stand at attention while I prepare you for your work. I’m making you as impregnable as a castle, Immovable as a steel post, solid as a concrete block wall. You’re a one-man defense system against this culture, Against Judah’s kings and princes, against the priests and local leaders.
19 They’ll fight you, but they won’t even scratch you. I’ll back you up every inch of the way.” GOD’s Decree.
Now we find another man who is running from having to speak the word that God has given him to speak to a nation. Again, it is a message of judgment. No one wants to speak condemnation to anyone, let alone a whole nation.
So this man develops a plan. He gathers up all his finances, goes to local ports on the ocean, buys a ticket for a boat to take him in the opposite direction from that which God has told him to go. Well, its time to board ship to begin the voyage on the sea. He feels that the plan is going to succeed until the winds pick up and the ocean begins to heave up and down. As time goes by the ocean only becomes more violent to where the men on board are fearing for their life. Someone though on board got a bit of wisdom and spoke to all those on board the ship. He tells the group that he feels there is someone on the ship that has displeased God. The group begins to ask each other, is it you? Guilt begins to well up within the man and finally admits it is him who is running from God. To save the ship and the trip the group throws the man overboard into the sea. The ship then carries on their way to their destination, which is Tarshish, and the man they have just thrown overboard is Jonah.
Well in the ocean God calls out to the deep and has a great fish, we tend to call it a whale. He causes the whale to swallow up Jonah where he will spend three days there until he humbles himself and tells God he will go to Nineveh to give the word of God.
Jonah delivers the message of judgment that Nineveh would be destroyed in forty days. For those forty days Jonah keeps giving the prophecy of judgment until the people of Nineveh repented, clothed themselves in sackcloth and ashened their faces. After they did that God changed his mind and decided to spare the city.
Now you would think that Jonah would be happy about how the people repented and were spared from the wrath of God. No, Jonah instead turns angry and sits under a tree and pouts like a disciplined child.
Jonah 3: (MSG)
1 Next, GOD spoke to Jonah a second time:
2 “Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They’re in a bad way and I can’t ignore it any longer.”
3 This time Jonah started off straight for Nineveh, obeying GOD’s orders to the letter. Nineveh was a big city, very big—it took three days to walk across it.
4 Jonah entered the city, went one day’s walk and preached, “In forty days Nineveh will be smashed.”
5 The people of Nineveh listened, and trusted God. They proclaimed a citywide fast and dressed in burlap to show their repentance. Everyone did it—rich and poor, famous and obscure, leaders and followers.
6 When the message reached the king of Nineveh, he got up off his throne, threw down his royal robes, dressed in burlap, and sat down in the dirt.
7 Then he issued a public proclamation throughout Nineveh, authorized by him and his leaders: “Not one drop of water, not one bite of food for man, woman, or animal, including your herds and flocks!
8 Dress them all, both people and animals, in burlap, and send up a cry for help to God. Everyone must turn around, turn back from an evil life and the violent ways that stain their hands.
9 Who knows? Maybe God will turn around and change his mind about us, quit being angry with us and let us live!”
10 God saw what they had done, that they had turned away from their evil lives. He did change his mind about them. What he said he would do to them he didn’t do.
In the two previous incidents is a great theme. A theme that needs to be told to this present generation. One God needs prophets, etc., who will give forth the message that God wants to speak to the people. Men of God need to learn that it is not about them, not about a campaign to win friends and influence people. Not to run because the message you are asked to bring forth makes you feel uncomfortable. Fear of being hated by the very ones that God has asked you to deliver His’ message. Yet, the majority of those who claim that they are men and women of God would rather choose comfort, acceptance, and also greed. So, they hold back a message that if given could turn a nation around, see repentance in the land they live.
Therefore a nation like the one that Daniel lived in is found to be a nation found wanting. A nation that has turned their back. Given in to the desires of their flesh, greed, and false teachings.
There is coming a day however where God will hold the men who have held back the message of God responsible. Responsible for allowing a nation to fall into the hands of the enemy who then in turn enslaves the people.
So, it would behoove those who stand in the pulpits across North America to speak that which God has for the nation and the people. North America is hanging in the balance between a great revival or the start on the road to decline.
It is time for people to give into prayer and supplication so that North America would be saved.