One Godly Life

The phrase “the handwriting on the wall” comes from this iconic story. Sin continues to take greater and greater hold on creation (as evidenced by increased suicide rates) and people are looking for answers. All of this shows that the only hope for our world is Jesus.

Daniel 5 tells of the writing on the wall, of a young King Belshazzar. His grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, was saved but he has walked away from that godly life. After Nebuchadnezzar’s death the Babylonian empire began to deteriorate; their arrogance and pride ultimately led to the defeat of their mighty kingdom.

Near the end of Belshazzar’s co-reign with Nabonidus, the Medo-Persian army, led by Cyrus, marched towards Babylon. Nabonidus met him in battle but suffered heavy losses so the fate of Babylon was left to the defense of Belshazzar. While the city was heavily fortified Belshazzar did not take the threat of Cyrus seriously. In light of the dire situation, he decided to throw a party with the sacred vessels taken from the temple. In doing so, he defamed the LORD of Israel and exalted himself as King of kings.

Someone came in to crash the party though. A drunken Belshazzar watched a hand write words on the wall. The king needed someone to translate the words, so the queen reminded him of Daniel who was a man of God. He revealed that the words MENE MENE TEKEL PARSIN meant that God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it, you have been weighed on the scaled and found deficient, and your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.
Following this, Belshazzar promoted Daniel but the king was soon killed and the Medo-Persian army conquered Babylon.

Here are 2 messages to apply from this story.

  • God’s judgment may seem slow, but it is thorough.
Belshazzar’s wicked rule continued for years until God brought it to an end. Out of grace, He gave Belshazzar every opportunity to turn from his gods and commit to the Lord but Belshazzar tried to stand higher than God so he was killed. Though the Lord is patient, he will not withhold judgment forever.

  • You should never underestimate the power of one godly life.
Daniel’s reputation as a man of God persisted even in a climate of idolatry, immorality, and treason. The Lord used him to influence and confront a pagan empire. Similarly, the Lord wants to use you but we must be committed to serve him regardless of pressures to do otherwise.
          Never underestimate the power of one godly life.
Pastor Chris Williams
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