The Handwriting on the Wall

“Immediately fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace. And the king saw the back of the hand that wrote.”
— Daniel 5:5

As noted before, one night, Belshazzar the king of Babylon held a great drunken feast. They brought out the golden vessels and silver goblets which his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had brought from the temple in Jerusalem before he destroyed it. And so Belshazzar called for the vessels and the goblets of the temple of Jerusalem so that his lords and princes, his women and wives and concubines might drink out of the golden goblets from the temple of Jerusalem. “Where is the God of Jerusalem—where is the God of the Jews?” they might have asked.

But then a detached gigantic hand appeared and wrote inscrutable words on the wall. What did they say? Only Daniel was capable of providing the correct interpretation. Belshazzar had been weighed according to God’s righteousness and was found wanting.

Therefore, his kingdom was to be broken apart and given to the Medes and the Persians. While Belshazzar had been drinking from the goblets of Jerusalem, the army of the Medes and Persians had diverted the River Euphrates which flowed from one corner to the other corner of the great city of Babylon and his soldiers had come under that dry river bed. They had thrown open the mighty gates of Babylon, and now the whole hosts of the armies of the Medes and Persians had filled the city. The proud, taunting king died that very night. Babylon the great came to a sudden and final end. It is not wise to taunt the living God.

Lord of the nations, You alone are holy and not to be mocked. We thank You that You do avenge and that Your justice will prevail. In Your mercy and patience, You postpone judgment, but help us to remember that it will come…