‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:3-5).’
‘“And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:25-28).”’
King Belshazzar had been having a great feast (v. 1). He, his lords, his wives and his concubines were drinking wine from the gold and silver vessels that his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, when suddenly ‘the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote (v. 5)’ those cryptic words on the wall. The king having seen the ‘part of the hand that wrote (v. 5)’ was so terrified that his ‘knees knocked against each other (v. 6).’
None of his wise men: the astrologers, the Chaldeans or the soothsayers could interpret the meaning of the words; so the Queen suggested to the king that he should ask Daniel, who had ‘the Spirit of the Holy God (v. 11),’ to explain their meaning.
Daniel had interpreted dreams for the king’s father (2:14-45; 4:1-27); so Belshazzar summoned Daniel to come before him. Daniel candidly pointed out that God had humbled the king’s father’s heart by temporarily removing him from his throne until he he came to acknowledge that ‘God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses (5: 21).’
Despite knowing what had happened to his father, Belshazzar had not humbled himself (v. 22). Instead he had lifted himself ‘up against the Lord of the heaven (v. 23).’ He did not glorify God who gave him his every breath and who owned all his ways (v. 23). Consequently, that very night, Belshazzar ‘was slain (v. 30).’
Not only is the above an illustration of God’s predestination, it is also a demonstration of His *omnipotence and His kingship over the affairs of men; for He appoints ‘whomever He chooses (5: 21).’
Here’s Another Illustration of Predestination
‘Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive (Genesis 50:18-20).”’
Most Christians know the account of how Joseph was sold by his brothers and came to be a slave in the household of Pharaoh in Egypt (Genesis 39:1). God prospered him there, and Pharaoh made him ‘overseer of his house and all that he had (v.5).’
To cut a long story short, Joseph had a dream that he and his brothers were binding sheaves, and his ‘sheaf arose and also stood upright,’ but their sheaves ‘stood all around and bowed down to’ his sheaf (37:7). He told the dream to his brothers and they resented it, saying, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words (v. 8).’
Not only did Joseph have dreams, but with the help of God he interpreted them and the dreams of others.
It so happened that after unjustly being imprisoned by Pharaoh, Joseph was brought before Pharaoh’s successor to interpret two of his dreams.
The first portrayed ‘seven cows, fine looking and fat’ (Genesis 41:2)’ that came out of a river. After them there also came seven ‘ugly and gaunt cows (v. 4 )’ that ate up the ‘fine looking and fat’ ones. In Pharaoh’s second dream there were ‘seven heads of grain’ on one stalk that were ‘plump and good (v. 5),’ and after them came ‘seven thin heads’ of grain that were ‘blighted by the east wind (v. 6).’ They ‘devoured the seven plump and full heads.’
Joseph explained that the dreams were one and the same. They depicted seven years of plenty, when harvests would be bountiful; afterwards there would be seven years of widespread famine. These things were immutably ‘established by God (v. 32).’ In other words, God predestined what would occur.
Pharaoh recognised that Joseph was a man ‘in whom’ was ‘the Spirit of God (v. 38),’ and knowing that God prospered him, he ‘set’ him ‘over all the land of Egypt (v. 41).’
Joseph immediately went to work and organised the collection and storage of grain during the good years, for it to be available for purchase during the years of famine. The famine not only affected Egypt, but the land of Canaan where Joseph’s brothers lived along with his father Jacob. The upshot was that eventually they were all forced to travel to Egypt where they met Joseph who provided them with all they needed to survive. Thereby the dream that God had given him (Genesis 37:7, 8) was fulfilled.
Indeed, that was an essential piece of the puzzle in the history of redemption through God’s Son Jesus Christ who came from the tribe of Judah (Hebrews 6:14).
The children of Israel (Exodus 1:1-7) settled in Egypt, and there they multiplied (v. 12), but a ‘new king (v. 8)‘ was fearful they would turn against the Egyptians; so he placed taskmasters over them and afflicted them by making them slaves (vv. 11-14). In due time God redeemed them from slavery to the promised land (Exodus 3:17). After forty years in the desert under the leadership of Moses and Joshua they entered Canaan and conquered the inhabitants (Joshua 24:17, 18).
Every single footstep (Deuteronomy 8:4), every action, and every event was predestined; just as our lives are predestined today (Romans 8:28).
“Praise be to God for His love and mercy. Amen.”
*The Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence of God