A Devotional Thought From Daniel
And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not show the interpretation of the thing: Daniel 5:15
The wise men of Babylon were called upon by Belshazzar on the fateful night that he saw God’s handwriting on the wall of his banquet hall in the palace. He had them examine the writing: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. They could read the words, but had no clue to its meaning for Belshazzar and his nation. They, like their blasphemous king himself, did not realize, and could not interpret the signs of destruction right in front of their eyes. That very night Belshazzar was killed and Babylon conquered.
Now here’s the thing, though God brought about this turn of events in response to Babylon’s national sins, there surely must have been signs of a national failing that were obvious to political and religious observers. There must’ve been members of the court who had the big picture, the country was not on the right track, but like the wise men could not get the meaning of MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN before it was written on the wall and interpreted by Daniel. The people of Babylon could not see how dangerous the situation was. Babylon was going to Gehenna in a golf cart.
Probably many thought Babylon was too big to fail, certainly too big to fall. What a dangerous belief for any nation to entertain. The nation that can’t interpret the signs of moral laxity, lack of spiritual vision, religious dissatisfaction, legal corruption, violence in the street, whatever, whose so-called “wise” can see them but not interpret them is in deep trouble. How can that country reverse course and save herself? Other than by honoring the God of the Bible?