How many times have you heard that statement in the past? Do you know where it comes from? Do you know what it really means?
Like so many stories down through the ages, it has taken on different authorship. The most probable original author comes from the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. The Israelites had been in captivity for many generations and by the Fifth Chapter of Daniel, the rulers who had kept them in captivity had defied the God of Abraham one time too many.
The Babylonian leaders had understood something was different about these “People of the One God” from earlier generations. But they had never embraced that God and instead fell into the habit of mocking Him and defying His very being. After King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came another king even more profane. The backdrop of the story was that the Persians were slowly encircling his forces and he was running out of time and options. From Daniel 5:
“King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them.
While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.”
This was utterly profane in the eyes of even their enemies. These goblets were stolen from the Temple of Solomon and had been used to worship the God of Abraham for generations in ceremonies. For the leader of the most powerful country on earth to sink to such open defiance of another’s God was too much for his his enemies to suffer.
For me, it would be like someone who was the leader of a nation that had once claimed to be “One Nation Under God” celebrating the desecration of that nation’s firmly held beliefs
Sodomy would no longer be an abomination. Marriage as defined by God would no longer be sacred. Children that had been formed and known by God in their Mother’s Wombs would no longer be recognized as a sacred life and even the matter of death because of their sex would be protected by the new Belshazzar. Money would be spent from the treasuries of children not yet born in order to maintain his selfish position.
While some children suffered with not enough to eat, the Queen and her concubines hold grand parties and travel to all the corners of the earth. While some lose their houses, she spends their money on wild entertainment, exclusive rooms and resorts and endless meals of lobster and the finest foods. Their wine glasses would never be empty while others had to rob and steal to pay for their daily bread. She would dress in the finest raiments and her adoring followers would fawn over her both day and night while others shivered in makeshift shelters down by the rivers. Advice would flow from her lips like water only to become bitter and full of bile in their hypocrisy.
None of this is done in secrecy. Her slavish, adoring, and fawning followers celebrate her lavish defiance of those who pay for her greed and avarice. While preaching piety and suffering, she and her court suffer themselves nothing.
Countries that had been friends in the past would be insulted and denigrated by this stiff necked new “ruler”. His closest allies, including the Children of Israel would be counted amongst his enemies as he curried favor with those who joined him in denying the One True God. But Belshazzar would find that there was an eternal price for betraying that One True God.
A mysterious hand writes the following words on the wall where the revelers, drunk on their own self importance are able to watch:
מנא ,מנא, תקל, ופרסין
Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin
Of course, seeing the power of one greater than oneself in action and in the company of all the rulers cronies must have been earthshattering. None of Belshazzar’s magicians of agnostic followers could make and sense. So Daniel was sent for. In his ignorance, Belshazzar thought he could bribe Daniel for the interpretation.
Rejecting offers of reward, Daniel warns the king of the danger of his arrogant blasphemy before reading the text. The meaning that Daniel deciphers from these words is based on passive verbs corresponding to the measure names, “numbered, weighed, divided.”
And this is the writing that was inscribed: mina, mina, shekel, half-mina. This is the interpretation of the matter: mina, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; shekel, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; half-mina, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.- Daniel 5:25-28
That very night, Belshazzar receives his eternal reward and the kingdom is no more.
Are we in yet another generation where we will see the hand writing on the wall?
Has the modern day Belshazzar who has openly defied God and the “One Nation Under God” done so long enough for the One True God to have had enough?
“You have been weighed, you have been measured and you have been found wanting”
To the nation: Will you allow the Hand writing on the wall bring you low as well?
Unrelated to the article but I was just curious… has anyone apologized to the People of Syria yet of our unquestionable support of the regime killing their children???