Using the Past to Your Advantage

Daily Devotion|Day 269

“But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. And you have lifted up yourself against the God of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them” Daniel 5:22-23).

History is not just a subject. It is a teacher. History may not be the favorite subject of many a student, but that does not diminish the value of history. Even if you don’t like history as a taught course, you should love it as part of human civilization. The Bible is a book of faith, but it is also a book of history. It contains the history of God’s dealings with people of all nations, Jews and Gentiles alike.

But the record in the Bible does not end with the characters and events in it. The record is for all generations. God does not need to inspire the writing of a different Bible for every epoch of believers, because the content of the Bible is timeless. Regardless of when or where you were born, the Bible has significance for you.

Today, let’s look at how you can turn someone’s weakness into your strength through your knowledge of history.

King Belshazzar of Babylon was the grandson of the famous king Nebuchadnezzar. One day, being in good spirits, he threw a banquet for his wives and concubines and other nobles of his court. At one point, he sent for the sacred vessels of Israel’s God to be brought to him. Then, he and his guests drank from the vessels. This was a bad idea, and he was about to pay a heavy price for his impudence.

It was Nebuchadnezzar who had brought the sacred vessels from Jerusalem when he captured the city (see 2 Chronicles 36:18). Daniel chapter 4 tells us how God humbled Nebuchadnezzar and caused him to dwell among beasts and act like them. This happened because of the king’s pride in not recognizing the authority of God. This fact was not hidden from Babylonians. Naturally, king Belshazzar too knew about what happened to his grandfather.

But in today’s opening Scripture, Daniel is rebuking the king for failing to learn from what happened to Nebuchadnezzar. While the king was drinking from the Lord’s vessels, God decreed judgment against him (Daniel 5:5-9). That very night, he was killed and the Medes took over the kingdom (Daniel 5:30).

Lesson: God wants you to learn from history. Where people have failed, He wants you to learn and succeed. Where people have gone wrong, He wants you to do right. Where others have sinned, He wants you to live right.

Where others have performed poorly, you can do better. Take advantage of other people’s past experiences and improve your life. Whatever happens to others, you an draw positive lessons from it so that you don’t repeat past mistakes. If your parents made mistakes, learn from that experience and be different. Instead of bashing and resenting them, use their experience as an inspiration to improve your family’s record. If your teachers made mistakes, learn from the experience and do better.

You can’t change history, but you can use history to change your life. Study the past and improve your life.

BlessingMay the Lord make you grow in favor, wisdom and understanding. Amen.

For further study: Daniel 4:1-37 and Acts 12:20-24

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