God’s Handwriting

“And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” (Daniel 5:25).

Belshazzar took over as King when his father Nebuchadnezzar died. This was during the exile of Israel to Babylon and Daniel was also exiled. During his reign, Belshazzar made a feast for a thousand of his Lords. He drank wine with them along with his wives and concubines. He commanded that the vessels of gold and silver, that his father had taken out of the temple of the Lord, be brought to him. He used the vessels to drink with his Lords and wives. “They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone” (Daniel 5:4). Immediately the finger of a hand appeared and wrote on the wall of the king’s palace, opposite his lamp stand.

The King was so afraid that he turned pale and he sent for his Magicians and Astrologers, to ask them to interpret the hand writing. “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom” (Daniel 5:7). Not surprisingly, the astrologers and magicians could not read the hand writing, nor could they interpret what was written. This made the king even more afraid, until his wife advised him to call Daniel. She advised him that the spirit of God lived in Daniel and explained how he interpreted dreams for Nebuchadnezzar.

“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” (Daniel 5:12). Daniel came before the king and showed no delight in his gifts, but agreed to interpret the handwriting. He reminded Belshazzar how God had humbled his father Nebuchadnezzar, when he exalted himself against Him. “And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this” (Daniel 5:22). Daniel pointed out to the king that his actions, in using the vessels that were made to bring honour to God, to revel and worship other gods, had displeased God.

The interpretation from Daniel was as follows: God had numbered the days of Belshazzar’s kingdom and brought it to an end. He had been weighed in the balance and found wanting. His kingdom had been divided and given to another kingdom. That same night, the king was executed and his kingdom was taken over. The weight of the King’s actions had caught up with him. Daniel was indeed promoted to third in the kingdom, but the king lost his life due to dishonouring God. The things of God are for honour and should not be used for dishonourable use. Leadership and power should be guarded carefully, as those in authority have a great responsibility, to treasure the things of God.

God does not take it lightly when people abuse their power and authority and will remove from power, anyone who exalts themselves against him. “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:20-21).


7 thoughts on “God’s Handwriting

  1. I’ve read this scripture numerous times. What stood out most for me this time was how quickly God carried out judgment once the warning was issued. I sense that He’s about to move in same fashion for some of us. Not only that Daniel was promoted. God will use us to warn then elevate us because of our obedience. I await His promotion 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The danger in abusing the holy things of God can be seen in this passage. Although Belshazzar did not have experience with this “God”, he showed a lack of respect where his father gave honor, he should have seen that. Praise God for his mercy endures forever.

    Liked by 2 people

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