Handwriting on the Wall
Daniel 5 King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand...
Today we meet Nebuchadnezzar's son, king Belshazzar, and immediately we're shown that Belshazzar has a huge problem with…you guessed it, pride. Belshazzar is showing off by having a great feast with thousands of dignified guests and apparently the big party isn't satisfying him quite enough. So Belshazzar commands that the holy items his father took from God's temple in Jerusalem be brought out so he and his lords, wives and concubines could drink from them. And so they drank, and "praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone" (vs. 4).
Next thing you know, the fingers of a human hand appear and write a message on the wall of the king's palace. Creepy, right? Well, this scares Belshazzar--to the point that his limbs give way and his knees knock together. So he calls for his "wise" men to interpret the writing, but no one except Daniel is able to interpret the writing. Daniel reminds Belshazzar of how God dealt with his father's pride and then chastises Belshazzar for ignoring these things and choosing to exalt himself before God. Then Daniel tells him what was written on the wall: that the days of Belshazzar's kingdom are numbered, that Belshazzar has been weighed in the balance and found wanting, and that his kingdom will be given to the Medes and Persians. (vs. 26-28). The only response we see from Belshazzar is rewarding Daniel for interpreting the dream. So no repentance, no remorse. And that very night, he is killed.
So what about you? Have you ever experienced a wake-up call from God--your own "writing on the wall" equivalent? What was it like? How did you respond when confronted with your sin? Tami W.
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