In our reading for today we read about King Belshazzar and the elaborate banquet he threw for the masses. He was reveling in gluttony and excessiveness all the while defiling himself, serving himself and gratifying the desires of his flesh. As Belshazzar and his guests are partying the night away, something crazy happens:
Suddenly, they saw the fingers of a human hand writing on the plaster wall of the king’s palace, near the lampstand. The king himself saw the hand as it wrote, and his face turned pale with fright. His knees knocked together in fear and his legs gave way beneath him. [Daniel 5:5-6]
Whoaah! Belshazzar is gripped with fear and calls for his various enchanters and diviners. Yet, none of these “experts” can figure out what the writing signifies.
Finally, the Queen remembers Daniel and mentions his name to King Belshazzar. Daniel is summoned and interprets the writing on the wall. Daniel states that Belshazzar has seen what happened to Nebuchadnezzar but has proud-fully continued down the same path and has hardened his heart to the Lord:
“You are his successor, O Belshazzar, and you knew all this, yet you have not humbled yourself. For you have proudly defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you. You and your nobles and your wives and concubines have been drinking wine from them while praising gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone—gods that neither see nor hear nor know anything at all. But you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny! So God has sent this hand to write this message." [Daniel 5:22-24]
I do not know about you, but I believe that there are times in our lives where the writing is very clear on the wall. You know what I mean? There are clear signs in front of us, flags we should take heed of, warning signs posted as we run by. Yet, we allow other things to cloud up our heart and our mind and we are blind to what is in front of us. Sometimes we have even seen other people go through the same thing, just like Belshazzar had seen Nebuchadnezzar (henceforth will be “Neb”). Yet, we do not realize that we too are not immune to being spiritually blinded. Neb somehow lost perspective and began to rely upon himself, which in turn led to his pride and arrogance and caused his eventual downfall and insanity.
Was not the writing clear on the wall? Did Belshazzar not see what happened to Neb? He probably did, but Belshazzar allowed himself to become blind. It was not until it was too late for Belshazzar that the writing became clear. In the end, the word of the Lord that was spoken through Daniel proved true and Belshazzar was killed that very night.
I believe that in this hour, the Lord wants to save us from ourselves. He wants us to see clearly in spite of our clouded vision. The Lord can do such a big work in such a short period of time; His timing is completely separate from ours. He WILL make the writing clear for us and He WILL take the blindfold off our eyes. He does not want us to get to a place where we are numb to His Spirit. The Lord wants so desperately for us to see the writing on the wall the first time around! He wants to save us before it is too late! That is why with God we keep getting our second chance back in the form of a first chance!! He is more desperate for us!
May the church of Christ rise up now and proclaim that we can see clearly now, the rain is gone, we can see all obstacles that were in our way and the dark clouds that were causing blindness are gone! It is going to be a bright, bright, sun-shiny future! :)
In the NAME of JESUS! AMEN! :)