Rev. E. Anderson
THE WRITING ON THE WALL
This is a simple outline for you to think about and meditate on. The introduction, main thoughts and conclusion need further material to be added. It is an outline for you to expand, develop more fully and fill in to spiritual profit and inspiration.
The background to this event was quite remarkable. The king of Babylon, Belshazaar, had made a banquet for a thousand nobles. It was quite an extraordinary affair because he used the sacred vessels of golden and silver cups that belonged to the temple of Jehovah in Jerusalem and out of them drank to his gods. It was a most offensive and insulting thing to do as they caroused. He thought he would disdain and abuse Israel’s true and living God in a high moment of carnal indulgence. But the Lord was not to be treated in such a cavalier fashion and so responded in a awesome manner. A message was to be conveyed to him in an unusual way – a hand appeared writing on the plaster of the wall, hence the phrase was formed and lives as a constant reminder: ‘the handwriting on the wall.’
1/. IT WAS DIVINE HANDWRITING – vv5,6
It may have been the appearance of a human hand but the writing was of a divine source and those present sensed that, especially the king. Israel’s God was to show and stamp His sovereignty and authority upon this occasion and changed the partying and merrymaking scene sombre in a moment. The king literally shook in his shoes, turned ashen, was fearful and must have felt that somewhere he had overstepped the mark. The intrusion of the hand-writing solemnised everyone and everything.
2/. IT WAS WRITING THAT CONTAINED A MESSAGE – vv7-9
There was an immediate awareness that the few words written held within them a vital message. They were seemingly four words of significance and import, of a prophetic nature, that needed interpretation and to be understood. The Lord was speaking through this handwriting and it was imperative to know the message of the hour. It is essential for us to know what the Lord is truly saying at this stage of life both personally and collectively.
3/. IT WAS WRITING THAT REQUIRED A SPECIAL INTERPRETER – w10-12
Not one of the Babylonians could discern and explain the meaning. Worldly and heathen figures could not serve with all their professed wisdom and art. It required a holy and godly man to fulfil the role and Daniel was still around and in touch with God to minister in this situation. He had not lost his divine relationship or his anointing. He was still there in the wings to be used at this sacred hour.
4/. IT WAS WRITING THAT BROUGHT JUDGEMENT – vv13-29
Three words: ‘numbered’; ‘weighed’; ‘divided’. Daniel showed that his time was up, he had been weighed by God and was found wanting, his kingdom was at an end and would be divided. That was the end of him, the party and the kingdom. Life at all times must be treated seriously and sacredly before Him.
It has to be noted that the Lord can break in at any time and give His mind and sentence on life and work. He is not to be fooled with.
5/. PRIDE IS A PREVAILING EVIL THAT BRINGS INEVITABLE DISASTER
What had been revealed came to pass and ‘pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall’ and in this case what a fall! One moment the great monarch, the next, reduced to a beast. It was the loss of seeming everything but existence. Pride does bring in at the end great loss and reduction. One has only to ponder what loss that both Satan and Adam sustained to make one understand the ruinous effects of pride. It may make you feel the biggest but at the end it brings you to the lowest. The consequences of this cursed evil are always painful and humiliating.
5/. PRIDE IS A PREVAILING EVIL THAT SHOULD BE CLEANSED
God did show that this evil would be cleansed from the pagan king by this awful process and judgement. The grace and favour of God would be merciful to the point of renewal and restoration. And so it was. He was to learn that in spite of how great he and the kingdom had become it was due to someone else and that this God knows how to humble the proud – v37. What occurred is to be a standing witness and lesson to all for all time.
The wisest course of action in life is ‘to live and walk humbly with God.’ Humility keeps everyone and everything in true perspective and stays from having to experience the disaster of humiliation through judgement.