As difficult and noteworthy events coalesce in the United States we can take comfort and peace from the word of God.
[Darris McNeely] There's a common phrase in the English language called "The handwriting is on the wall." It actually comes from the book of Daniel. And it is pictured here by this famous painting by the artist Rembrandt of a time of Belshazzar's Feast, mentioned in Daniel 5, where a hand appears out of nowhere and starts to write on the wall, and everyone gets frightened and scared. The "handwriting is on the wall," you know, it's a phrase, I think that applies to a lot of what is going on in the world today, especially in the United States in recent months with all that we have watched with the pandemic and the world and its impact on us here in the United States, the COVID-19, the shutdown, the economic fallout that has taken place, the riots in the streets, the emphasis upon race and injustice, and what is called systemic racism, and so many problems that are coalescing right now, even into the transition, into to the election for the presidential office in the United States, and the fear and the concern over the direction of the United States and where it is. Some people are pushing for progressive changes that would, in effect, literally and radically alter the very structure of life, government in the United States. And in so doing, a lot of what is evidenced about the social unrest, about the economic problems that are there, the ideas that are being floated out, many recognize that we're certain actions, laws, changes made. The America that we have known would be radically transformed. And for a number of people, an entire class of people, that's what they desire. That's what they want. On the other hand, many people identified more perhaps with a traditional view of the world of America. You don't want to see things pushed so radically in that direction.
And so we are at a critical moment. We're at a time, where as the song said, the times, they are changing. And I think this picture that we have here that illustrates something from Scripture is very important for us to note. If I were to turn to Daniel 5, and just note where this takes place. In Babylon, the night before Babylon fell, Belshazzar's Feast with his thousands of nobles and Royal people, all assembled in the palace, partying, carrying on, while the Persian armies are at the gate, and a disembodied hand arises and begins to write these words upon the wall, and nobody knows what it means and what it says. Here's what it says in verse 5 of Daniel 5. "In the hour that the fingers of a man's hand appeared and wrote, opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, the king saw the part of the hand that wrote, 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 one another." He was literally scared witless at this hand, these words. Nobody knew what they meant. Times were changing. The story goes on, and you probably know it quite well. Daniel's called in and he essentially says to Belshazzar that your kingdom has been weighed, judged, and found wanting. And then that night Babylon actually did fall. There's a lesson from that time for our time. As we look at what is taking place today. Belshazzar was scared. He didn't know what to do. Literally, Belshazzar and all of his governing party, they weren't up to the time. They weren't up to what it would take to govern wisely, justly, to create a fair, equitable, balanced, even godly society. Nobody could read the handwriting on the wall except one man named Daniel because he wasn't afraid.
He could sail through the times because he had a relationship with God. He had one that allowed God to help him to interpret such events as this. He'd already demonstrated that in the story of Daniel. Daniel's up to the times. When you and I think about the times in which we're living right now and all that is taking place around us, and we've talked about these in our Beyond Today programs and "Beyond Today" articles on the handwriting on the wall. And it strikes a chord with people. You wanna know what it means. You wanna know how the application is. We'll see how events play out. We'll see the course of the United States. We'll see the course of events and we'll talk about those. But what I want to leave with you here in this moment, is a little bit of the courage, the confidence that Daniel had, that Belshazzar didn't have. Daniel came in, and because of his relationship with God, he could understand the times in Babylon.
Can you understand your time, our time right now? There's a Scripture in Philippians 4, that I think can help us to understand this. The Apostle Paul is writing words that speak to us really today in this in Ephesians, or excuse me, Philippians 4:6 and 7. Paul writes this, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Be interest for nothing. Don't be like Belshazzar, fearful, wobbly, not able to understand not up to the times. We're living in tough times right now. We have to be worthy of these times. And the only way is through prayer, through relationship with God, just like Daniel had. Don't be anxious in everything. "By prayer," he says, "and by supplication, with true genuine thanksgiving to God." Make your request know.
Whatever your prayer is, for our nation, for our leaders, for you, your family, make it known to God. And in verse 7, it says, "The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Right now, we all need a measure of peace and understanding that comes by a lot of understanding of the Scriptures, that prophecy, yes. But at the heart of it is prayer and relationship with God and He will give to you that peace of mind that will allow you to stand straight, tall and erect, not wobbly, not fearful, like Belshazzar was, and you can see the look on his eyes. Don't let that be your reaction to the events that are surrounding us today. Make your requests known to God. Talk to God about it. He'll give you that peace and understanding for our time to be like Daniel, a disciple that rightly divides the word of truth.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.