Huh, I don’t get it.
Her husband was close to retirement, and they both knew the company was being bought out and the most senior employees would be asked to leave.
Honestly, could they not read the writing on the wall?
The writing on the wall: an expression used when we feel broadsided by an event we should have seen coming.
Today is second to the last in our series about everyday phrases we get from the Bible. The writing on the wall is one of my favorites because of its origin in the book of Daniel.
Daniel is my go-to when I’m having doubts. It’s stocked full of prophecy and every time I read it, it escalates my faith exponentially.
Some of the events foretold in the writings of Daniel have already happened and are historically documented as coming to pass years after Daniel prophesied about them. Still some events written in the book are yet to come.
Daniel was a young Jewish man when Jerusalem was overtaken by the Babylonians. He was captured and served seventy years under foreign kings in a foreign country. God gifted him with the ability to interpret dreams and visions and to prophesy. In Daniel, chapter five, he (Daniel) is telling a story happening in his present time when King Belshazzar is reigning over Babylon.
He tells of Belshazzar giving a great banquet for the Babylonian social elite. In a show of disrespect, Belshazzar makes sure he uses the wine goblets that have been taken from God’s temple in Jerusalem. As he, his noblemen, wives and concubines drink from the stolen goblets, they praise their various gods of silver, gold, bronze, wood and stone.
And then, right in the middle of their fun, it happens.
“ Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall near the lampstand in the royal palace. His (Belshazzar) face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.” Daniel 5:5-6 NIV
A hand without an arm attached, writing on a wall?
I love Daniel’s description of king Belshazzar. I’d be having a much larger problem than knee knocking. I’d have probably wet my pants, or worse!
The inscription on the wall was in Arabic. Though Belshazzar could read it, he didn’t understand it. It’s here at the king’s request, Daniel steps into explain.
“This is the inscription that’s written.
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN
Here is what these words mean.
Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
Parsin: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” Daniel 5:25-26 NIV
The message on the wall was to those who defy God.
“That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two. Daniel 5:30 NIV
Creepy and cool and sobering all at the same time. A clear reminder that God is sovereign.
And that’s comforting to me.
If you’ve never read Daniel or even if you haven’t read it in a while, please take time and indulge in this book filled with the history and prophecy of the greatest nations on earth. God’s Word is never more alive and active as in these twelve chapters tucked away between the writings of Ezekiel and Hosea.
Have you ever sensed that something big was coming down in your life because you could read the writing on the wall?
Yeah, me too.