The Handwriting on the Wall and Other Knotty Problems

18 Sep

Screenshot 2015-09-18 08.06.50Because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshaz′zar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation. – Daniel 5:12

The Party Comes to a Horrifying End

Belshazzar (which means ‘Bel Protect the King’) used temple objects for personal pleasure and praised the false gods associated with gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone.

Then…

The dismembered hand appears from nowhere and begins writing on the wall in a language unknown.

His loins loosened (He peed his pants –or worse!); literally, the knots of his loins were undone.

His knees knocked

So…

Wise men were brought in to decipher the writing, but none were able to translate the script.

Terrorized

Fearful

Baffled

The queen mother comes to the rescue…remembering Daniel.

Daniel…chief of magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners.

Because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.

These were valuable characteristics. Although now an old man, Daniel had not changed. When we’re first introduced to him in Daniel 1:17, he is described along with his friends…

”As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all letters and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”

And we see that things haven’t changed. Daniel still has godly credentials:

  • Excellent Spirit
  • Knowledge
  • Understanding
  • Explain Riddles
  • Solve Problems

He was one who could untie knots, and this was surely a knotty situation!

Accolades & gifts promised and declined. Daniel didn’t want recognition and treasure – he was an old man who had lived his life without compromise.

Moral of the story?

  • Humility – Daniel didn’t use his knowledge and understanding as a badge of honor. He was confident in God, not himself. But the king’s arrogance landed him in this knotty situation, and he stood their in front of Daniel soiled and terrified, begging for help.
  • Giving God glory (recognizing the true source) – Pride and ignorance caused Belshazzar to praise himself and the false gods of his culture. While his father had encountered the true God and given Him honor, the son failed to do so and the handwriting on the wall spelled the end for him.

The message was:

  • Our days are numbered – We have a finite lifespan on earth and God alone knows the number of days set before us. We must make the most of our time and align ourselves with our Creator.
  • We have been found wanting – Our failed attempts at holiness, at being “good” of our own effort, have fallen short of God’s perfection. The Judge who sits on the throne has handed down the verdict: we are found wanting. Thank God for His mercy and grace and the gift of His Son to pay the price that we lack.
  • Our kingdom is temporary – We spend much time and effort in creating our own little kingdoms here on earth. We amass as much as we can and work hard to control our circumstances to make our lives “heaven on earth.” But our earthly existence is nothing compared to the riches of His Kingdom, which we must keep in mind and allow this perspective to motivate us toward heavenly objectives rather than earthly gain.
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