Imagine the scene. You’re quite drunk from too much wine at a wild party that goes late into the night. On the plaster wall near where you are sitting, fingers appear writing out four words. This has all the creepiness of a horror movie, but this story is for real.
“Then suddenly the fingers of a human hand came out and wrote on the plaster of the wall near the lampstand in the king’s palace. The king watched as the hand was writing. The king’s face turned pale and he became terrified. His hip joints became loose and his knees started knocking as his legs trembled in fear.
With urgency the king decreed to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the diviners. The king said to the wise men of Babylon, ‘Anyone who can read the writing and reveal the interpretation will be clothed in purple, a gold necklace will be placed around his neck, and he will be made the third ruler in the kingdom.’
Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king what it meant. So King Belshazzar became even more terrified and his face turned even paler. And his lords were all stymied.” Daniel 5:5-9
How many times in our story have the Babylonian kings called in their wise men? How has it turned out every time? I need to remember that humans can make learned historical and sociological analyses of the past, up to the minute newscasts can tell me exactly what is happening in the present, but when it comes to what is going to happen that night in the future and why, they don’t have a clue. Who was writing on the wall? Who is connected with the one doing the writing, and what does it all mean?
LORD, again help me to learn from Belshazzar that getting drunk in the midst of wine, women and song will not stop the writing on the wall. Help us as we read further in this episode to see Belshazzar’s future but also what you have to reveal through Daniel about our future.
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