“Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other.” – Daniel 5:6
Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son, was now on the throne in Babylon. He held a feast for a thousand of his leaders to in recognition of their might and power. Even though he knew the pride of his father and how it brought him low, he did not learn the lesson. Belshazzar calls for all of God’s gold and silver cups that they took from the temple in Jerusalem so that they all might drink from them. As if to say, “we are greater than God, look what we have accomplished.” At the very moment, he begins drinking from the cup, the fingers of a hand appear opposite the candlestick, writing on the plaster of the wall. Belshazzar was struck with fear.
He did not know what the words written on the wall said and Daniel was brought in to interpret. The words written meant that God numbered his kingdom and it was finished. His life as the king had been weighed in the balances and found wanting and his kingdom would be divided. He did not hear, learn or repent.
If Belshazzar did not understand what was written, why did he tremble so much? It could not be just the hand on the wall. If anything, since they worshiped Bel, wouldn’t he think it was his god writing? Why would he tremble so much?
I believe Belshazzar already knew his sin. I believe he knew it was God that came calling after all the chances he was given to repent and now it was too late. I believe that is what caused his heart to skip a beat and fear fell over him. He thought he was getting away with things and put off repenting like his father did. God was now bringing judgment and it was too late for him.
If we are honest, we already know our sins. We do not need anyone to interpret them for us. May we confess them today because if we do not, we may be found lacking God’s grace through Jesus. We will be stripped of everything. That is true hell.
“God is not mocked. He knows your exact weight and worth; and the exact weight and worth of all your words and all your deeds.” “…never pass a Sabbath day without comparing your light soul with last Sabbath. God hangs out His scales in the heavens every Sabbath morning. And, above all, He weighs ministers, and their pulpits, and their people on that day. Choose your church, then, above all your choices, choose well your church.” – Alexander Whyte