In one of the most bizarre and perhaps supernatural moments in the whole of the Bible, King Belshazzar, in the middle of a party thrown to worship the gods of gold, silver and stuff, witnesses a human hand, detached form a physical body, appear from no-where and write on the wall. He can't understand it, none of his clever friends can either; but there's one man who can – Daniel!
At this stage, aged around 90, Daniel's influence in the kingdom of Babylon is all but forgotten; except by the Queen, who remembered how he came to King Belshazzar's fathers rescue (Nebuchadnezzar). She reminds the King that Daniel has a good track record in dream interpretation and that the spirit of the holy gods is in Him (her words!). She's right; there is a Spirit in Him; not of the holy gods, but THE Holy God!
Daniel shows up, and to cut a long story short, can read the writing which announces judgement on King Belshazzar; the 'writing's (literally) on the wall for him'. There's no hope, his days are numbered, he hasn’t honoured God.
King Belshazzar is soon dead, God's word has come to pass, Daniel has come through, again.
Could it happen today? Does God write on walls, with human hands, to announce judgement? It's unlikely, but not impossible. I say unlikely because God has written a new message – not on walls, but on hearts, a message of love, grace, hope and forgiveness for all those who will receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The only pending judgement, or 'writing on the wall' for anyone, is for those who reject salvation by faith in Christ alone and in so doing chose to be their own 'god'.
But I'm also amazed that God still speaks to His people, often in the most 'unlikely' ways. What might look strange and weird to us, is often God taking an unlikely method and using it for his purposes.
He also uses unlikely people in unlikely situations. Daniel was old, past it and forgotten. He was also in exile. The temptation to sulk, mope, hide away and either wait for a better day or blend in would have been real. But at the right time, throughout the whole book of Daniel, God raised him up, and in this instance brought him to the mind of the Queen!
We can take great hope in the fact that God uses imperfect, broken people.
The Bible is full of examples of women and men who wouldn't be our first choice. Just look at the lives of David, Moses, Sarah, Abraham, Joseph, Paul, Peter and pretty much everyone else who God uses significantly; they all had significant 'issues' - from past offences, to present character weaknesses. But God wasn’t deterred. He used their weakness and 'unlikeliness' for His glory. As Hudson Taylor said: "All Gods giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them".
I'm in no doubt that as you read this blog, there will be some situations in your world that without God, are unlikely to change. But remember, with God, unlikely doesn’t mean impossible. By faith, may we give our unlikeliness to Him today; our unlikely past, present and future – He wants to turn it into possibilities.
Questions for application:
- What are some of the unlikely, but not impossible situations in my life, or the lives of my loved ones that need God's intervention?
- How can I prayerfully give this to God?
- How does God speak to me? How do I know it's Him?