The Handwriting on the Wall #9

Friday, October 9, 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?

Let us finish reading Daniel’s rebuke of King Belshazzar: “[23] But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: [24] Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.

“[25] And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. [26] This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. [27] TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. [28] PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. [29] Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. [30] In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. [31] And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.”

God’s message to Belshazzar is Aramaic, a mixture of Hebrew and Babylonian: “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.” Scripture defines these terms individually in verses 26 and 27. Paraphrased, “Belshazzar, your reign has reached its termination point. Having served God’s purpose, you and your empire can now fade into history. The Medes and Persians will overthrow Babylon and the city will fall.” Belshazzar is unfazed: God’s words do not bother him. He rewards Daniel as promised, and makes him “the third ruler in the kingdom” (more on this later). That very night, just as God vowed, Babylon is attacked and sacked, and Belshazzar loses his life in battle….