July 29
Daniel 5:1-8, 25-27

The banquet

King Nebuchadnezzar’s son Belshazzar was the next king of Babylon. One night he invited a thousand special guests to a big party. While they were drinking wine, Belshazzar gave an order to bring out the gold cups and bowls, which his father had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. Then he and his friends drank from the special cups that were made especially for the Holy Temple of the Lord.

Suddenly, a hand appeared and started writing on the wall where the light from the lamps shone brightly. The king turned as pale as a sheet and asked if anyone could read the writing, but no one could understand it.

In the end, Daniel was called in. He told the king exactly what his dream meant: “God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end. You have been weighed and have failed the test. Your kingdom will be divided up and given to the Medes and Persians.”

Why did God write a message the king couldn’t read?

Can you read Greek, French or Chinese? Next time you find a paper with instructions in a foreign language, try reading it. It is pretty frustrating when you can’t make any sense of what is written. King Belshazzar must have felt this way: he knew that the message on the wall was important.

Why would God write a message that the king couldn’t understand? God didn’t want the king just to read the words; He wanted a spiritual person to explain the deeper meaning to him.

Some parts of the Bible are hard for us to understand and only the Holy Spirit can help us grasp the full meaning of what God is saying. God wants us to know and understand the Bible and so He has given us teachers, pastors and parents to explain the meaning of His special message.

Verse for today

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, … and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14