This story points us to an unusual banquet for thousands of nobles and their wives! Why is this story so famous and undoubtedly important? How was Daniel used by God? Daniel was known as a dream interpreter during his years as a royal advisor to King Nebuchadnezzar who was Belshazzar’s father. Daniel saw the HANDWRITING ON THE WALL – the four words that a disembodied hand wrote on the palace wall (Daniel 5:26-28)!
The explanation was that Belshazzar’s days were numbered. He had been spiritually lacking, so God decided to divide his kingdom among the Medes and the Persians. During that same night, Belshazzar died! What was Daniel’s advice to the people? Daniel began to tell the story of the handwriting on the wall and how King Belshazzar gave orders to bring in the gold and silver that was looted from the temple of God by Nebuchadnezzar, his father who did not believe in God. We can learn not to give up on others who may think God is not needed. Together with His help, many may be reached and our own faith may be received!
How did God send a message to King Belshazzar? What was the reaction from the king? The Bible says after seeing the fingers of a human hand writing on the wall (Daniel 5:5), the king’s face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way (Daniel 5:6)! What was King Belshazzar’s greatest fault? It was that he did not humble himself before God even though he knew better. Instead, Belshazzar set himself up against the Lord of heaven, with the goblets from the temple brought to him and the banquet guests drank from them! Looting and partying seemed in order at that time.
Reading on through the verses, we learn that as they drank wine they praised the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. What happened later? The king’s wise men could not read the writing on the wall nor tell the king what they meant. The queen pointed out Daniel who had special God-given gifts that were no match for the enchanters, astrologers, and other wise men of Babylon. King Belshazzar did not honor God who held in His hand his life and all his ways; therefore the inscription was sent from God.
With God’s help, Daniel was found to have insight, intelligence and wisdom. Daniel refused some gifts/rewards from the king, but he accepted the purple clothing, a gold chain and he was made the third highest ruler in the kingdom. God used Daniel through the king’s request to leave us with a valuable message that He is always in control and uses whom He pleases to fulfill the needs of His divine will. As humble servants we must remember the power of God.
As we think about being a witness for God, we can follow Daniel’s examples of obedience to glorify Him who lives forever!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.