In 539 BC Nebuchadnezzar’s son Belshazzar gave a great feast for a thousand of his elites.
Belshazzar told his servants to bring the gold and silver vessels taken from the temple in Jerusalem to be used for wine during this feast. As they drank wine from these sacred vessels, they praised the gods of gold and silver.
It was during this time that a man’s hand appeared and wrote on the wall of the palace.
Belshazzar’s mood changed immediately from confidence to fear. He quickly summoned his astrologers and soothsayers and offered a great reward for anyone who could read the writing and its interpretation; but none could.
Then the queen reminded Belshazzar that there was a man in his kingdom who had the ‘spirit of the Holy God’ in him.
“Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel…now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.” Daniel 5:12
Daniel was brought before the king and the king offered to give Daniel high ranking in the kingdom if he would interpret the writing on the wall.
But Daniel told the king that he could keep his rewards; however, he would make known to the king the interpretation of the words.
Daniel first reminded Belshazzar that ‘the Most High God’ had given his father Nebuchadnezzar the rule of the kingdom over all nations on the earth.
But when his heart was lifted up, he was made like a beast of the field eating grass for seven years…
“…till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses. But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this.” Daniel 5:21b-22
“And you have praised the gods of silver and gold…which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified.” Daniel 5:23b
After Daniel’s scathing lesson, he read the words on the wall and its interpretation.
“God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it…You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting…Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Daniel 5:26-28
That very night Belshazzar was slain and the kingdom given to the Medes and Persians.
At that time Daniel realized their Babylonian captivity was about to end.
“…in the first year of his (Cyrus, king of Persia) reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah…that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.” Daniel 9:2
Daniel prayed mightily to the LORD his God. He acknowledged that Israel had sinned and rebelled against God and His commandments. Daniel also acknowledged that God’s chastisement was righteous and just. He further confessed that God had kept His word given approximately a millennium earlier.
“As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the LORD our God…” Daniel 9:13
Thus in the same year that Nebuchadnezzar’s son saw God’s handwriting on the wall, God revealed to Daniel the ‘handwriting on the wall’ for all nations in this present generation.
“Seventy weeks (of years) are determined for your people and for your holy city…” Daniel 9:24
Gabriel told Daniel that beginning with 445 BC; there would be 483 prophetic years until the death of Christ.
Then after an undetermined time gap, the seventiethth week (seven years) would mark the end of the seventh and final world kingdom.
After the death of Belshazzar, God gave Cyrus, the king of Persia, instructions of what he was to do.
Cyrus was commanded to free the Jewish captives from Babylon and even to assist them in building a house for the ‘LORD God of heaven’ in Jerusalem.
We need to be watching for a seven year peace treaty between Israel and her enemies. The treaty would be broken after 3 ½ years.
Is this a present priority for America?
To be continued.