The Handwriting on the Wall
Reading the Handwriting on the Wall
Dan. 5:1-4, 5-6, 22-28, 30-31
LIFE IMPACT: This lesson is designed to help you live for another world in this world by . . .
examining how secularized we have become and whether we are glorifying God with our life.
1. Secularizing the Sacred - Dan. 5:1-4
A quarter of a century passed between Nebuchadnezzar’s experience with God in Daniel 4 and God’s confrontation with King Belshazzar in Daniel 5.
The opening verses of this chapter show Belshazzar’s arrogance. With the army of Darius, king of the Medes and Persians, camped near Belshazzar’s capital, Belshazzar held a great feast. Perhaps considering his forces to be invincible, Belshazzar, drunk with power before becoming drunk with wine, threw a party.
The king brought 1,000 of his nobles from their positions of responsibility to fill his banquet tables. Instead of maintaining a sober mind, the king drank wine in their presence and was under the influence of the wine. Under the influence of alcohol, he ordered that the temple vessels be brought out and used in the revelry. These were holy instruments dedicated for worship to the one true God. While drinking from these sacred vessels, those at the party praised their pagan idols.
Today, the holy things of God are mocked, abused, and discarded as irrelevant.
2. The Handwriting on the Wall - Dan. 5:5-6
In the midst of the debauchery, a hand appeared and began writing on the wall. The writing appeared next to the lampstand. So imagine the light illuminating (spotlight kind of effect) this hand writing on the wall. As King Belshazzar observed this, he turned pale, became terrified, became weak in the knees and began to shake.
Those who have neglected, rejected, or ignored the sacred become weak and fearful when confronted by the hand of God.
In verses 7 – 21, Belshazzar gets his wise men, astrologers, etc. to try and interpret the writing. He even promises riches and power to anyone who can interpret it, even up to the third highest position in the kingdom. Of course, they can’t, so the Queen suggests getting Daniel who is between 80 and 85 years old by now. Daniel refused the king’s offer but did interpret the writing.
3. Weighed and Found Wanting - Dan. 5:22-28,30-31
The King of
- Exalted himself against the Lord of heaven
- Had not glorified God
- Did not acknowledge God’s control over his life
Mene – God has numbered the days of your kingdom.
Tekel – Weighed in the balance – God had judged Belshazzar’s life and it was found to be deficient. The King’s idolatrous life vs. God’s laws (of morality).
Parsin – Kingdom divided and given to the Medes and Persians. And it happened that very night.
Do we approach the things of God too casually? Do we take the laws and commands of God too lightly?
How can my life better honor and glorify God?