The Handwriting on the Wall #5

Monday, October 5, 2020

In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote (Daniel 5:5 KJV).

What great Bible truths can we learn from Daniel chapter 5?

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded Jerusalem on three separate occasions between 606 and 586 B.C. The Prophet Daniel, living in the area, was exiled to Babylon in the first invasion (chapter 1). The last attack resulted in Jerusalem’s fall and Solomon’s Temple’s demolition. See 2 Kings chapters 24 and 25, and 2 Chronicles chapter 36. As promised through Jeremiah the Prophet, the Jews would remain in Babylon for 70 years. By the time of Daniel chapter 5, Daniel is still in Babylon—nearly aged 90!

In the context of today’s Scripture, Nebuchadnezzar is long deceased. His grandson, Belshazzar, is King of Babylon, and he is a pagan idolater. What is most offensive to the LORD God, the God of Israel, is the fact Belshazzar has taken the holy vessels from Solomon’s Temple (that his grandfather removed from Jerusalem five decades earlier) and is using them in his raucous, heathen, religious festival! Verses 3 and 4 again: “Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

It is precisely at this moment that JEHOVAH God intervenes to form the heart of the Bible’s famous “handwriting on the wall” passage: “[5] In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. [6] Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” Some disembodied fingers appear, and write a message on the palace wall! Belshazzar literally goes from partying to trembling….

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