THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL

Scripture Reading: Daniel 5:5-9

“Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote in the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lamp stand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote.” (Daniel 5:5)

Most of us are familiar with the phrase “the handwriting on the wall.” In today’s passage, we see that the handwriting on the wall of the palace of King Belshazzar was a message of judgment.

The king had thrown a great feast. During the feast he ordered that some of the sacred vessels which had been taken from the temple in Jerusalem be brought out. He used these vessels during a drunken feast in which he also praised his pagan gods. As we have seen, the king was guilty of blasphemy.

While the feast was underway, suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall in the king’s palace. The king was visibly shaken — “Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together” (v. 6).

Then the king ordered that the enchanters, the Chaldeans and the astrologers be brought to interpret the words that had been written on the wall. None of them was able to do so. “Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed and his color changed, and his lords were perplexed” (v. 9).

As we will see, the words that had been written on the wall of the king’s palace were words of judgment. God had been blasphemed and He sent a stern warning to the king.

God has given a strong warning to all — “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). I get fearful when I consider some of the blasphemous things that occur everyday in our country. The passage in Romans goes on to say two times — “God gave them up” (Romans 1:24,26). I wonder when the patience of God will come to an end and He gives our country up?

I have not lost hope. While we see many disturbing and even blasphemous things occurring, the gospel is still at work. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). We need to pray for a fresh movement of God’s Spirit. God’s people must humble themselves and pray. We must face up to our own failures and repent. Believers need to be the salt and light that Jesus has called us to be.

The handwriting is on the wall. God is being patient, but His patience will come to an end one day. We must not presume on God’s patience — “Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). God is being patient so that we can become repentant.

Lord God, thank You for Your patience. You have warned us about a day of judgment. I pray for a fresh movement of Your Spirit in our country. I pray that we will humble ourselves, repent and pray. There is much evil all around us. Deliver us from it and enable us to be salt and light as we live our our faith. Heal our land and restore it.

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