Daniel 5:24-31 Video Devotional

“Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old. – Daniel 5:24-31
In this story, the writing was on the wall. Whatever the hand wrote wasn’t going to be good. We could see that from how the phrase is now used as well as Daniel’s prologue to the interpretation. In today’s passage, that warning is confirmed. Belshazzar will lose the kingdom. Later that evening, he was killed. His story did not end like his father’s.
What I do find interesting about this passage is that in the midst of a horribly foreboding warning from Daniel, Belshazzar’s fate was sealed, but his attitude was grateful. At least, that’s how it seems. Belshazzar’s response to the interpretation was to have Daniel robed in royalty and made the third ruler of the kingdom. So here is the interpretation challenge to you – was Belshazzar being sarcastic in his honoring of Daniel, or did he simply keep to his word?
Earlier, Daniel politely requests to receive nothing for this interpretation, but there is no follow up after the robes are put on Daniel. I am sure he was under social obligation to accept when offered, but we have no more information on the exchange. While we can guess whether Belshazzar did that out of anger/sarcasm as opposed to honor, all that can be done is debate the idea.
What we do know is that Daniel was faithful to deliver God’s message regardless of the rewards or consequences he would face. We know that Belshazzar, though refusing to humble himself to God, still put Daniel as the number 3 guy in his kingdom. Granted, that would only last a few hours.
We have no idea how one person may respond to hearing the gospel or what they might do or say as a result. All we can do is to be faithful with the message God has entrusted us with and leave the rest to Him. As Daniel’s life has shown, that can go well on earth and it can also go bad. Thankfully, God promises to be with us through it all.

Daniel 5:1-6 Video Devotional

King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.

Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. – Daniel 5:1-6

King Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar. We see clearly that he picked up his father’s personality traits, specifically arrogance. Belshazzar, probably wanting to show off to his friends the gold from Jerusalem’s destruction, had them brought out and cheerfully drank from them.

We don’t get as much detail about Belshazzar as we do his father, but it is clear that he enjoyed his pride and worshipped other gods. Not a good mix. God didn’t seem impressed either, as He made a hand appear and write on the wall. This act turned Belshazzar’s face white and brought to a point of great fear.

It is interesting to know that the common phrase “the writings on the wall” comes from this story. In the connotation we use that phrase, it is rarely (if ever) used to convey a positive message. Usually, it is a dire warning or the obvious factors that show a decision has already been made. Have you ever felt like you’ve crossed a line? It seems like that is what Belshazzar has done here. He took things one step too far and, well… the writing was on the wall.

One of the many things we can be thankful for is that we know we haven’t crossed a line yet. As long as we are still living and breathing, we can still choose God (Hebrews 9:27). Let’s not waste our time on ourselves or our sin and choose Christ now, so that we can begin the eternity living in the fullness of God – now! Eternity starts at the moment we open ourselves to Jesus – in this life – don’t wait until the end, and don’t miss out!