Daniel 5:4 – They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
Daniel 5:5 – In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Hello readers, today the hand is writing on the wall. I know, I know we’ve all heard the story of Belshazzar and the hand that wrote on the wall… and today’s blog is a warning to all of us. Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar, made a big old feast, he used the vessels of God taken from the temple in Jerusalem to party with. Why did he make the party? Well it was a show of strength, in a time of war to be partying shows you really think you are invincible. It shows how not seriously he was taking any opposition to his throne… a throne he had not earnt but inherited from his dad. It also shows where his priorities were… on having fun.
It’s all fun and games until God’s word comes. Romans 7:9 – For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. When God’s word comes, it revives sin in our lives… because it cuts through all the rubbish and shows us that we are sinners in trouble with holy God. Belshazzar really is a picture of you or I today. Will we heed the warning? At the height of the party there came forth fingers of a man’s hand… and wrote on the wall… and the king saw it. This was God’s word. Let’s not forget that the Bible is GOD’s word. It is with power, it happens. The word written was faithful and true. The Bibles says in 2 Peter 1 … For we have not followed cunningly devised fables … Peter was an eyewitness to Christ’s majesty but he said that the word is even more sure than what he had seen on the Mount of Transfiguration.
You know why people hate God’s word? Because it shatters their fun. It breaks through where it’s not welcome. It was all fun and games til the spoilsport came. What God wrote wasn’t what Belshazzar wanted to hear. And Belshazzar didn’t even understand it. He needed an interpreter. In fact, noone in the kingdom could understand it… bar one man. We all need a Daniel, someone who knows God’s word, someone who is not at the party (to whom and where do you belong?), who has a different spirit to the rest, who can tell you what God’s word is saying. The Holy Spirit is who takes God’s word and ministers it to our hearts. But God uses human vessels. He will use a true believer to open to the word to the sinner, because a true believer has the Holy Spirit, and thus understanding and an ability to minster truth to others. It is possible for a person, a gathering, a people, a nation, a kingdom to have grown so far apart from God that God’s word is alien to them. Sin has separated us so far from God. If you are unsaved and Christ rejecting, you are abiding in death this second and the wrath of God abides on you.
When God’s word comes, it convicts, it condemns, it judges… it’s why people don’t like it or do anything with it. Before building up, there must be brokenness. Before forgiveness, there must be repentance. God’s word is a balanced truth, but balance is what Belshazzar was lacking. Even in Babylon, a pagan nation, here comes God’s word. Belshazzar knew better but he did it anyway. He intellectually knew things, but his heart had never believed in God. Hence his actions, he showed no fear of God or reverence for the Almighty. He thought he was the greatest, the exception to the rule… don’t we all? God is writing on the wall of your heart today… a reminder, that still small voice, it could be anything… that is a reminder that you are not right with him. It troubled him, and many people get troubled, or tickled, but they push right on through with their sin. Shoot the messenger, ignore the message, and hope it all goes away while I focus on me, myself and I … right?
Belshazzar thought he was indestructible… he was partying with God’s vessels. What does this mean? Well you are also partying with God’s vessels, unbeliever. You can deny God, but you are partying this second with HIS vessels. We are all living on God’s time, on God’s breath, on God’s grace. You know, our life and spirit comes from him. We belong to him. We are his creation. That’s why the Bible says when we die our spirit will return to him who gave it for judging. Remember back to a guy called Nabal in the Bible (1 Samuel 25), who’s name means “fool”. David looked after his flocks time and time again in the wilderness (Nabal was a rich man), and when it came time to honor David and give back and show some reverence to whom was due… he said no. How foolish in your life it would be and is to spite the God who has given you all that you have and are… who looked out for you while you were going about your life time and time again while you didn’t even know him, who all blessings and protection and life and your very spirit come from. Nabal didn’t realize what David had done for him time and time again… and people experience the grace and mercy and love of God so many times, but never attribute it to God, nor ever get right with him… and when they’re told the gospel or whatever, they say no to God… get lost God. They won’t give to whom is due! People like to think they’re independent and self sufficient, but they are not, and we are not, we are so reliant it’s staggering, and we breath on the fumes of God’s grace, mercy and longsuffering, and with that same breath curse and deny him.
This is a picture of God’s word coming to a sinner today. We are all in the same boat. It is such an accurate representation of how things are. He had no sight, and we can have no sight. We live in our little world, not seeing the bigger picture. Babylon was about to fall, the enemy had breached the city even while he partied. His life had but hours left… he was no smarter than a beast of the field, that’s where a life minus God will take you. We can read now and think he’s so stupid… but are we also like this? So narrow sighted without understanding? You can be all secure, think you’re set up, got it made, living for today, having fun right now … but the bigger picture is you are in big trouble eternally with God, your soul and eternity is at stake. What’s true is that he was judged and spiritually and morally bankrupt, even while he comforted himself with alcohol, women and friends. He didn’t understand the time, he didn’t understand what mattered… because he had chosen not to. His wife reminded him of his father, a father that had learnt the hard way that God is Lord… a God who had brought the proud king to living like a beast of the field. Your very sanity comes from God, you cannot control even that. No wonder so many people are insane and crazy and tormented… because they’ve forsaken God, they don’t have God in their mind. This generation wants to put God out it’s thinking, out it’s living… and there is a high price to rejecting the Creator.
Belshazzar attributed praise to that which deserved no praise. He’d rather lavish his praise and worship on things like gold, silver, wood, brass, stone and so on. People would rather spend their lives on work, or sport, or pleasure, or work, or movie stars or whatever… and look at how people even talk. When a natural event happens, they talk about the “weather gods” or “mother nature”… they’ll never give glory to the most High. Belshazzar comforted himself with popularity and going the way everyone was going. But the way of the Christian is the narrow road, the road of believing the Lord Jesus Christ isn’t the road everyone is on. Thousands were there at the party… but it didn’t make him safe. You can’t hide from your Creator, you are not safe in a big herd of people. Nations and generations forsake God… it is not an excuse for you though, and won’t get you out of personal accountability to God.
God’s word troubled Belshazzar. But did it really change anything? No. The party went on. It seems incredible that people can hear about hell, about judgement… and they can ever shake and tremble and quiver… they can even give honor to the man of God or the message… but then they go on. It just goes to show the spiritual warfare in salvation. Satan will oppose a sinner getting saved. Your flesh doesn’t want to get saved. It doesn’t know God. When David sent to Nabal … Nabal said who is David? who is the son of Jesse? That’s your flesh, it doesn’t know and cannot know God. So unless you get born again, unless the Holy Spirit is at work, you can’t and won’t get saved. God’s word isn’t something to just take note of and pass by on. Maybe Belshazzar thought God didn’t really mean what he had written, we tend to read or hear and think cool, and go on, because it’s not really, REALLY true. But it was, and that night he was slain.
God’s word weighs the sinner in the balances. And is found wanting. Belshazzar was. And so are you and I. Before God, according to God’s word, the truth is that we are all found wanting before God. You see, we are all sinners. That puts us in trouble with God. We are fallen creatures, full of evil, self, pride, lust and so on. God is Judge, he is so good he has to deal with sin… and if your sins are not forgiven and paid for by someone greater than you… you will die in your sins and go to hell. Jesus came to save you from your sins. But it’s why people hate God’s word though, because it weighs them up and says… not good enough. Try telling that to someone who thinks they’re a pretty good person or who has dedicated a life to religion… it’s insulting huh.
The hand came and wrote on the wall over against the candlestick. What a wonderful picture here. Candlesticks give light, indeed, the church is pictured as a candlestick in Revelation. Believers are meant to have light and be able to share that light… Daniel definitely shed light on what was said. And what is light? Psalm 119:130 – The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. There was a little bit of light shining into Belshazzar’s life here, some actual truth, something from God. But the problem is that with so many today, as the Bible says … the condemnation is that light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. That’s Belshazzar. People try to plaster the wall of their life with good works, with self… but God’s word comes writing upon it. Not good enough. Not accepted. People use plaster to protect or decorate the wall… to make it look better. But nothing can make your life look better. God knows who and what you truly are. There is only one who is accepted, Jesus Christ. Without him you won’t make it.
You see, Belshazzar thought the God of the Jews was nothing. Despite what happened with his father. Jerusalem laid waste, the temple destroyed… and today people think God isn’t someone to be feared or worthy of glory and honor and obedience. It can seem like God’s word isn’t relevant, or that isn’t with power, or that it’s stupid. It seems like the wicked prevail, it seems like God doesn’t know what he’s doing, and it’s all a bit of joke. They point out “contradictions”, they say things like if he’s God why is there pain and suffering, if this, if that, why this, what that… it’s not because they want to know, it’s just convenient excuses. But while God doesn’t appear glorious or powerful today, he sure is. Jesus is coming in power and glory. And he hasn’t changed… but people interpret his longsuffering, grace and mercy as weakness, as him not meaning what he says. Don’t make that fatal mistake.
Belshazzar went to everyone else to get the meaning of the words on the walls. But noone knew what it meant. How powerless all the religions and efforts of the world are. It goes to show people will go to and try anything before going to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. Intellect, learning, magic, the position of the stars couldn’t do it. There’s a lot of magicians and soothsayers out there today aren’t there? People that cannot and do not deliver truth, who won’t tell you what you need to hear. Sure they’re magicians, and they trick millions. Sure they’re good at soothing you and impressing you, but it’s not the real thing. Be it imitation Christianity or other ways to God.. how many people get willingly tricked or sucked in by false signs, false words, false displays of power and God’s working? They’re the ones people go to first and prefer, because they won’t preach against sin, or preach of judgement and holiness, or call the sinner to repentance. They’re in the popularity business, and truth is not popular. They’re at the party right with you. The Bible says they feed themselves without fear. Today there are false Christs, false spirits all masquerading as something they’re truly not … they’re not the real deal. Its trickery, not the true power of God. Daniel told Belshazzar the truth. It wasn’t an easy truth, but he delivered it. He didn’t tell him what he thought Belshazzar wanted to hear, he told him what God’s word said. A true man of God will tell you the truth of God’s word, be it good or bad. The bad is we are hell deserving sinners, the good is there is a Saviour!
The hand is writing on the wall. People are without excuse. God could reach a heathen king in a far country, he can reach you. He created all things, you, me, the African, the Chinese, the Russian. See, light is come into the world. When God’s word comes though, it spoils the party of life doesn’t it? It’s not what most of us want to hear, but it’s sure what we need. Why do people hate the gospel? Because that hand is writing on their heart, it’s convicting, it’s reviving sin in their life, its condemnation, it’s judgement. It’s God’s word, which is with power, bringing the sinner to repentance… and if not it is condemnation. It doesn’t have to be all bad for you, because that same hand also through the whole Bible points to a person… Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He died on the cross for you so you need not perish. Going it like Belshazzar you will perish, but you can repent of your sin and believe on Jesus and be saved.
But can you get past the offense of God’s word? After all who wants to hear what Belshazzar heard? Who wants to hear about sin, about hell, about judgement, about righteousness? God’s word is eternal, and though we try to put it out, it cannot be denied. Just as it wrote in the light on the candlestick, it’s for all to see and know today. It’s more than ink on paper, it’s spirit and life. But Belshazzar wasn’t taking serious things seriously, he was more focused on fun and pleasure, on himself having a good time and doing what he wanted. He thought he was fine, he had confidence in his big army, his majestic kingdom and the walls of Babylon. Turns out you are not as amazing, nor invincible as you think. Turns out the kingdom is God’s, not yours. That SAME night he was slain. God’s word is true, every time. The hand is writing on the wall today.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)