Talks for Growing Christians
Daniel Interprets the Handwriting on the Wall
Lesson Number 5
- Unbelievers cannot understand God’s handwriting on the wall.
- Believers can understand God’s handwriting on the wall.
- Don’t put your hopes in the rewards of this world.
- Who was Belshazzar?
- What fatal mistake did Belshazzar make at his feast?
- Who was the queen (verse 10)?
- What was Daniel’s interpretation of the message on the wall?
- How was this message fulfilled?
- Belshazzar was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. He was the final king of the Babylonian Empire.
- Belshazzar brought the captured vessels of the Temple of the Lord to be used for drinking at his great feast, where they praised the foreign pagan gods – this was blasphemy and desecration of the holy vessels.
- She is probably the queen mother, the mother of Belshazzar and daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was in his 80s at this time, but she remembered how he had interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams.
- The hand was God’s hand, and the message was interpreted in verses 26-28: “MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”
- That very night Belshazzar was killed and the Medes and Persians took over Babylon. Darius the Mede was probably an official under Cyrus, the Persian Emperor, and ruled over the area of Babylon for a short time.
- Discuss how the Bible is God’s handwriting on the wall. Unbelievers can read about future events and God’s plans for the future, but they don’t understand it. Discuss why this may be.
- Believers have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them to guide them in the proper interpretation of Scripture. Can you think of some New Testament passages that address this principle? Have you been aware of the Holy Spirit’s activity during your time of Bible study?
- Daniel was “honored” by Belshazzar by being made the third ruler of the kingdom – for a few hours! He did not value the short-lived honors and rewards of this world. This world is passing away and its rewards with it. Are you earning rewards where it matters?
- “But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven.” Daniel 5:22-23
- “MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Daniel 5:26-28