It has been said, over and over, history repeats itself. That’s
not just idle talk; it really does. A phrase that has survived
several thousand years and is still as relevant today as when it
was first noted: “The handwriting is on the wall.” A prophetic
denunciation to a debauched king…and a warning to those who
continue in their wicked ways. God does not sleep.
In ancient history, the Babylonians, under King Nebuchadnezzar,
ruled much of the known world. And if there were any adversaries
in his way, he simply added them to his kingdom – and took from
them whatever he wanted – their tools, their finished goods,
their means of production, including slaves. When King Neb
ravaged Jerusalem, the captives went into exile in Babylon for
the next seventy years. He was wise enough to select the wisest,
most physically fit, intelligent and noble young men to be his
“guests.” They were to be skillful in all wisdom and cunning in
knowledge, and understanding science and “able to stand in the
palace of the king.” He declared that they should be housed in
the best quarters, fed the best food and wine for a period of
three years. Is anyone here unfamiliar with “brainwashing?”
After that period, they would be taught everything about the
Chaldean culture – to be immersed in what was totally foreign to
them. The strategy, of course, was to disconnect them from
everything familiar to them, including their family life,
culture, language, Jehovah, even food. Interesting – even then
it was considered wise to have the populace able to become
integrated in a common language. Science, medicine and
manufacturing, among others, require a common language which best
suits the field. Babylon was a great empire and it used the best
minds available to continue its predominance.
The Book of Daniel tells the rest of the story. It doesn’t tell
how many men were selected by the king, but it lists four of the
“most qualified:” Daniel, Hananiah, Meshael and Azariah. These
four requested that they not be forced to partake of the excesses
offered, but be allowed to eat food other than meat and only
water to drink. The idea of indoctrination, in this instance,
was refused: lesson for today. Free food = beginning of slavery.
It would appear that they rejected the welfare of “steak and
lobster” and requested grains, fruits and vegetables. Ten days
later they appeared stronger and healthier than everyone else.
God honored their allegiance and blessed their lives.
Years later Babylon would, as all great empires do, fall into
decay when the precepts of good government were given over to
debauchery and excesses became the rule. Nebuchadnezzar ended up
eating grass and successor Belshazzar saw the writing on the
wall, but it was already too late for him, also.
Early immigrants to this country quickly learned English –
though, at home, native tongues carried on for a generation – and
it was that common language that was the engine that propelled
this country to greatness. Learning the language of the realm is
the beginning of owning a place. It is the best defense against
poverty and subjugation. And it is the best tool to sell your
idea; your invention; your ideology; even your patriotism.
Becoming dependent on a handout, will stymie a wealth of
productive thoughts and ideas – and the family, the culture and
the world will be the losers. And when we become the Babylon of
today (we’re almost there) the handwriting may still be on the
wall. Are we discerning the times? Trust in the Lord with all
thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Prov 3:5)