I was on vacation all of last week which means I was away from my job at the claims office and away from the work at the church. As a bivocational pastor, it is rare that I am able to get away from both at the same time. I had a good vacation and had an opportunity to rest and relax and spend time with my wife without having any deadlines or other things to worry about. I also got to spend some time with the grandkids and that is always fun.
I got back to the claims office today and I was buried in email and work that piled up while I was out all last week. I know that I will take two or three days to get back on track and get caught up so I will pace myself and won’t worry about it. One task that I have to complete this week is a “Self-evaluation”. I have to answer a lot of questions about my work habits, my productivity, my ability to work with others and my overall effectiveness. Not only do I have to evaluate myself but several other people have an opportunity to evaluate me too. That list includes several of my co-workers, direct reports and my boss. After everyone completes the assessment, I will be given an overall evaluation and a “rating”.
As I have undergone this task it reminds me of Daniel chapter 5 when Nebuchadnezzar’s son King Belshazzar is dining in the palace. He has offended God (Whom he despises) and brought out cups which had been stolen from the temple and is drinking wine out of them. As he does so, the hand of God comes and writes a message on the wall. Daniel is called in to interpret the message and he lets Belshazzarknow that God has evaluated Belshazzar and his deeds and the message from God is “You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.” This is not a good evaluation! God has told the king that he has not measured up and the kingdom would be taken away from him and given to the Medes and Persians. That very night, Belshazzar was slain. God’s word came true; His judgment came to pass.
God’s word and God’s judgment always comes to pass. Belshazzar was not in a right relationship with God, and thus when he was weighed in the balance or the scales he was found wanting or lacking. Belshazzar had sinned and had not received forgiveness for his sins and thus he was judged for his sins. Belshazzar’s evaluation does not need to be our evaluaion. None of us ever need to be judged for our sins and found lacking.
Certainly we have plenty of sins, and certainly we have done things which have offended God, but we can receive forgiveness for our sins through Jesus Christ. There is no need for us to be placed upon the scales, weighed in the balance and to come up short. There is no need for us to receive a negative evaluation. We can place our faith and trust in Christ who paid the penalty for our sin. When we place our faith in Christ, God sees the righteousness of Christ in us! The writing is on the wall, we can be judged by our works or we can by judged by the atoning work of Jesus Christ.