The King’s Feast

Daniel 5:1-12

King Nebuchadnezzar lived to be old man and then he died. The next king of Babylon was a man named Belshazzar. Daniel continued to work as the king’s adviser. One day, when Daniel was an old man, a strange thing happened.

The king was throwing a big party. He was drunk and having a good time. Then he thought he would do something different, just for fun. He wanted to see all the gold and silver cups and plates that had been taken out of God’s temple in Jerusalem.

“Tonight we will drink like the gods!” he told his guests. Together they praised the false gods of gold and

silver. Then they drank out of the holy cups.

Suddenly, all at once, a strange hand came out of nowhere! It began writing on the wall of the king’s palace. The king turned pale. His hand shook. He felt his knees knock.

“Quickly!” he called. “Bring the wizards, magicians and wise men here. I have to know what this hand has written. I’ll give anyone who can read it a great reward!” All the wizards tried their best, but nobody could read the writing on the wall.

“Your Majesty,” the queen mother said. “There is a man who might help you. He is the head of the wise men. He helped Nebuchadnezzar interpret his dreams. This Daniel might be able to help you now.”

Daniel was brought before the king,who said, “I’ve heard you know what dreams mean. Tell me what this horrible hand has written on the wall. Then you will be greatly rewarded. You may wear the royal color purple and I’ll give you a gold necklace.” “You can keep your gifts,” Daniel said. “I don’t want your rewards. I’ll read the meaning of these words because of what the Most High God shows me. Do you remember the lesson King Nebuchadnezzar had to learn? He knew that God is the One who decides who should be king. “But you haven’t learned this. You haven’t shown respect for the Lord. That was what King Nebuchadnezzar once ordered. You’ve grown so proud that you took the cups and plates from God’s temple. You gave them to your women to drink wine out of. That’s why this hand has written a message for you today.

“The words mean this: God will soon end your kingdom. You have been judged and have failed the test. Your kingdom will be divided between the Medes and Persians.”

When Daniel had finished, the king rewarded him. Then that same night,all that Daniel had said came true. Belshazzar was killed and the Persians conquered the Babylonian empire