TOPIC:"A Message Out of Babylon"
"You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting" (Daniel 5:27, NKJV)
While there are many tragic night scenes in the Bible, one of the most darkest was the night Belshazzar played host by giving a feast for a thousand of his friends. Belshazzar was the grandson of the notorious King Nebuchadnezzar who was the greatest of all the Babylonian kings. It was what we might call "the grand ball of the season" as it was set aside for all kinds of merrymaking and immoral behavior for his wives, concubines, and his many lords.
As the night wore on Belshazzar found himself in the midst of a drunken and wild festivity. The situation is described for us in the words of verse 4: "They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone." Belshazzar, who feared neither God nor man, revealed his utter contempt when he ordered his servants to bring the holy vessels which Nebuchadnezzar, his grandfather, had unlawfully taken from the sacred Temple in Jerusalem. And then Belshazzar allowed his friends to drink to their heathen gods out of those sacred vessels which were dedicated to the worship of Jehovah.
One can only imagine some party participant crying out in a mocking voice, "Where is the God of the Hebrews?" "Where is Israel's God?" Then, suddenly, all laughter stopped as Belshazzar turned deathly pale. He trembled with fear as a hidden hand began writing something mysterious on the banquet wall. Struck with terror, Belshazzar called for his wise men and astrologers to interpret the meaning of the strange inscription. But they were unable to determine its prophetic significance.
Since they were unable to interpret the writing, the queen mother according to verse 10 suggested to the King to call for the Hebrew man, Daniel, who years before had explained his grandfather's mysterious dream. Since he was a man full of wisdom and understanding, perhaps he could be helpful in decoding the writing on the wall. So Daniel was brought in to read the message and to inform the terror-stricken King of its significance.
It was a message of disaster and judgment for Belshazzar as Almighty God had decreed the end of the great Babylonian Empire. The pride of Babylon and the power of Belshazzar . . .