Daniel Part 1 - Do You See the Handwriting on the Wall?

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Daniel Part 1 - Do You See the Handwriting on the Wall?

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More importantly, can you understand what it means?

Transcript

 

[Darris McNeely] More than a thousand partiers were gathered in the king's palace when suddenly, out of nowhere, a hand appeared, disembodied, and began writing on a wall the words "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin." All the partying stopped. Everyone wondered what it meant. The king was scared. But no one could understand what those words meant.

It's a familiar story. It's told in the book of Daniel chapter 5 beginning in verse 1 (Daniel 5:1-31 Daniel 5:1-31 [1] Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. [2] Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. [3] Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. [4] They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. [5] In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. [6] Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. [7] The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spoke, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. [8] Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. [9] Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonished. [10] Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spoke and said, O king, live for ever: let not your thoughts trouble you, nor let your countenance be changed: [11] There is a man in your kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar your father, the king, I say, your father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; [12] For as much as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation. [13] Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spoke and said to Daniel, Are you that Daniel, which are of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry? [14] I have even heard of you, that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in you. [15] And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof: but they could not show the interpretation of the thing: [16] And I have heard of you, that you can make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if you can read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, you shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. [17] Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let your gifts be to yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation. [18] O you king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor: [19] And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. [20] But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: [21] And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appoints over it whomsoever he will. [22] And you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this; [23] But have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before you, and you, and your lords, your wives, and your concubines, have drunk wine in them; and you have praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways, have you not glorified: [24] Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. [25] And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. [26] This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it. [27] TEKEL; You are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting. [28] PERES; Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. [29] Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. [30] In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. [31] And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about three score and two years old.
American King James Version×
). The handwriting on the wall in King Belshazzar's palace, the king of Babylon, during the time of the Babylonian Empire.

What did it all mean? What was about to take place?

The wise people of that day could not understand. The king called in all of his magicians and sorcerers and no one could figure it out. Finally, in came the king's wife and said "You know what, there's a man that we've long forgotten—that your father knew about. His name is Daniel and in him is the spirit of the Most High God. He can help you understand what this is all about." (Daniel 5:11-12 Daniel 5:11-12 [11] There is a man in your kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar your father, the king, I say, your father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; [12] For as much as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.
American King James Version×
)

So, they brought in Daniel and Daniel came. And he explained it to the king and to all who gathered exactly what those words meant.

It wasn't a pretty picture. It wasn't a pretty message. He said basically, "You, O King, and your people and your kingdom, have been measured and found wanting and it's all over." And in that night, it was. The Persians were at the gates. The Persian Empire came in and overcame Babylon at that particular time and their time in history was gone. (Daniel 5:25-30 Daniel 5:25-30 [25] And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. [26] This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it. [27] TEKEL; You are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting. [28] PERES; Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. [29] Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. [30] In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
American King James Version×
)

I've been thinking a great deal about that story in light of all that's taking place in the world today. And I'll probably be coming back to it a few times here in the next few days in our BT Daily's because we're living in a period of time in our world where there's a lot of handwriting on the wall. And people are seeking understanding as to what it all means.

Europe is going through a crisis that is threatening to reshape the entire European continent with the Euro crisis. America has an outstanding deficit problem that seems to be unsolvable. The wise men of the United States cannot come together to create a plausible package to solve our problems.

We look at the Middle East, particularly in Egypt, and we see there that in the streets and among the people of Egypt, the Mid-East and that particular area, seems to be tearing itself apart. And we could go on and on from there, but you get the point.

Is the handwriting on the wall for our nations? Where are the wise men? More importantly, what does it mean for you? What does it mean for me? How do we understand these times?

Well, the question really comes down to whether or not we'll be like Daniel, or we'll be like that old King Belshazzar. Will we be scared, uncertain, continue to repeat the mistakes that have been made and go into oblivion? Or will we, like Daniel, have the spirit of the Most High God, an excellent spirit in us, guiding us to understanding of the times, discerning us the proper action in this particular period in history.

The question is before us. And the decision is yours and mine to make. It could be one of the most important ones that we will make in our lives.

Watch: Daniel Part 2 - Is Your Integrity Intact?

Watch: Daniel Part 3 - Do Your Prayers Get You Through the Night?