Brethren Archive

Weighed in the Balances

by G.J. Stewart

“Well, I’ve done something for the poor blacks of this colony, and that’ll tell something for me in that day.”

The speaker was a Police Magistrate in one of the towns of Queensland; a shrewd man of position and education too.

The topic of conversation was, as the reader may suppose from the above, what would stand a man instead in the day when God should call “for every man’s peculiar book”; when He would no longer brook delay, but call each to a settlement of the long outstanding question of the life here, and the deeds done in the body.

That which he referred to was no doubt commendable from a human standpoint, for there was, and is, certainly room for the improvement of the condition of the poor aboriginal inhabitants of these colonies; not only on account of their native degradation, but on account also of the way in which they have been treated through the lusts and cupidity of their white superiors who have taken possession of their lands; and naturally a man might boast himself somewhat if he had done something for them.

“But,” was the rejoinder to this, “are you upon that ground before God? Do you think that your good deeds will be put over against your bad deeds, and a balance struck which will decide your eternal destiny?”

“Of course I do,” said he; “don’t we read of being weighed in the balances?”

“Quite true, but you haven’t finished. It reads thus: ‘Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.’”

This was written of one who had impiously used the vessels of God’s house for a drinking bout; but it speaks in solemn tones to every man who today has no other standing before God but that of his own responsibility.

Man thus before God is like the trees on a selection which has not long been taken up; they stand, for the time being, upright to look at, but they are all “rung,” and it is only a question of a moment and they will fall. They stand upright now, but they are rung! Dying!! Dead!!!

So are the men of the colonies, and of the world. It is written of them as of Belshazzar, “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” (Dan. 5:25). “And this is the interpretation of the thing” (v. 26).

“Mene: God hath numbered thy kingdom (and your days, reader!), and finished it” (them) (v. 26).

This is repeated, “because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass” (Gen. 41:32).

“Tekel: Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (v. 27).

“Peres: Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians” (v. 28).

Thus, the handwriting on the wall spake God’s voice to Belshazzar; and thus God speaks to man at large today. There was of course that which was peculiar to Belshazzar in this, but which has its application to all today.

Unsaved reader, thy days are numbered.

Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.”

That which thy heart is set upon is passing to others.

But ere the execution of the sentence, which in Belshazzar’s case occurred the same night, God is offering mercy.

Who will give up his supposed goodness, and as a sinner accept at God’s hand a present settlement of the whole question of sins?

Mercy’s full tide may be known now; but he that enters the scale to be weighed in that day will find the present sentence true, and he will kick the beam.

Reader, depend not upon your good deeds to outweigh your bad ones, but rather do as one did, who at first derived some hope from this source. “There,” said he at last, “there, chuck ’em all together, they are all ONE!” Depend upon God’s mercy! But mercy can only flow to you through the death of another in your stead. That other was Christ, “the Son of the Living God.” Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”


The Gospel Messenger 1900, p. 97

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