By Betsy Mayer
When someone’s future is about to take a sudden change for the worse we often say, “the handwriting is on the wall.” Did you know this expression comes from a story 2,500 years old? A story filled with sobering parallels for our day.
Babylon’s last king, Belshazzar, was an extravagant and proud idolater. He was well aware of his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar’s dramatic conversion to the worship of Jehovah. See Dan. 4. But Belshazzar considered Jehovah an inferior deity to his Babylonian gods. Hadn’t Jehovah’s people been captured by the mighty Babylonian empire?
Belshazzar also resented the idea that Jehovah had decreed the eventual downfall of Babylon. The demise of Babylon was prophesied in detail throughout the Jews’ prophetic writings, including the name of Babylon’s conqueror, Cyrus, more than 100 years before Cyrus’ birth! See Dan. 2:31–45 and Isa. 44:24–45:6.
One of the most famous of the Jewish prophets, Daniel
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Mervyn Maxwell, God Cares, Volume 1, Pacific Press Pub. Assoc., 1981, p. 77.