In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace…. (Daniel 5:5a)
When something is a foregone conclusion some will say, “The handwriting is on the wall.” This means that although the event has not happened, it assuredly will. What we may not know is that Daniel 5 is the origin of that expression. There are certain indictors found here that mark the demise of nations—and as we examine them, we may well wonder if our own country is not ripe for judgment. Is the handwriting on the wall?
The government God judged had flaunted God’s laws—it was immoral and idolatrous. Even in the face of enemies that encircled Babylon, the rulers had no concern. Such was the arrogance they possessed. And why not? The city’s walls were as high as three football fields—seemingly impenetrable. So, Babylon’s leader’s decided to have a party instead of preparing for battle. What they failed to recognize was that Cyrus and his Persian hordes were not the supreme threat, but a Holy God who had purposed to bring doom upon Babylon. The defenses would thus be breached by Cyrus because God ordained it.
How prideful we can be! God is ignored, His name profaned, His laws rejected—and we think nothing will happen to America. Some leader will rise up and promise security and prosperity, and we will drink the Kool-Aid! The fact is that a massive tree whose bark has withstood the onslaught of storms across the decades, can eventually fall from small insects that eat away at the inside. That is way sin works in a nation.
Americans love to party hearty. Someday—maybe soon—God will act as He did with the Babylonian Empire and say, “The party’s over!” The terror that gripped the tyrant Belshazzar was dramatic. One finger extended, writing on a wall, and this king is horrified. What will it be when sinners stand before a Holy God and He points that finger at them!
None of the “brains” of the kingdom of Babylon had an answer, so the man of God, Daniel, was summoned. He had lived in the pagan culture without principles being compromised. He would be faithful to shine the light of truth in the darkness of the times. That is God’s mission for His people today.
that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (Phil.2:15-16)
The sentence on the sinful nation is pronounced. Their number was up, they did not measure up, and the kingdom would be divided up. The handwriting was on the wall!
On old farm couple were sound asleep one night, when midnight arrived and something went wrong with the clock—it chimed thirteen! Eb leapt from his bed crying, “Get up, Martha! It’s later than it’s ever been!” Indeed it is.