This word was one of three which were written upon the wall of the banquet hall where King Belshazzar entertained his guests. He truly saw the “hand writing” on the wall but had no understanding of it until such time as the LORD was pleased to send to him a prophet able to discern those words and deliver to him their meaning. There is no indication that he actually believed that these things were true and no evidence of any repentance on his part.
The judgment of GOD upon HIM was justly determined long before he saw this ominous occurrence. No doubt his flesh was stirred as the scripture indicates that his knees were knocking together and he lost the ability to control his bowels. (see Dan.5:6; Isa.45;1) In this same fashion are men sometimes stirred in their flesh whenever the judgments of GOD are set forth from the scripture and the certainty of coming judgment is declared.
Yet just like many who are thus stirred in “revival meetings”, “holy ghost outpourings”, “healing services”, and “hell fire and damnation” preaching; he brought forth no fruits “meet for repentance,” but rather just “paid the preacher” (see Dan.5:29) and went on about his business just as he always had. Had he had any belief at all that the things which Daniel prophesied were about to come true it seems he would have had no notion of promoting someone to a place of honor in his kingdom if he believed his kingdom was about to be taken from him. Nor would he have been able to sleep well but would likely have posted a guard or put his army on alert.
Yet history tells us that the army of Cyrus came in by the very gates left open by the neglect of Belshazzar as he and his generals spent their time feasting and drinking in his banquet hall. All of this occurred according to the ordained purpose of GOD to render judgment upon Belshazzar and to demonstrate HIS just wrath upon the children of disobedience. He was not ignorant of the history of his nation, nor the fact that only a few years before this that the judgment of GOD had fallen upon his own grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar. (see Dan.5:18-22)
Though the judgments had fallen upon Nebuchadnezzar even as was prophesied to him by Daniel, yet they were evidently meant for good to him, as one favored of GOD, since he was enabled to bring forth the fruits of repentance and caused to fall upon his face and worship before the true GOD, saying, “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” (Dan 4:34-37)
Belshazzar on the other hand was not so favored, but rather this judgment came upon him as a means unto his destruction as is evidenced by the events that took place, with his death, which led up to his kingdom being placed in the hands of Darius the Mede, who was the nephew of Cyrus, king of Persia whose armies invaded Babylon.
All men without exception are worthy of destruction because all men without exception are sinners by birth, by choice, and by action.. Belshazzar was no more of a pagan than Nebuchanezzar, yet he was weighed in the balances of GOD’s justice and found wanting. Nebuchadnezzar, on the other hand, was as worthy of destruction as Belshazzar, yet the LORD showed HIM mercy and brought him to a place of repentance and subsequent worship, while he brought Belshazzar to hopeless ruin.
Quite often we hear men accuse GOD of injustice because it pleases HIM to show mercy to some and pour out HIS wrath upon others. Yet the scripture indicates that the destruction of the wicked is ordained for the benefit of those to whom the LORD would demonstrate the glory of HIS grace and the magnitude of HIS mercy. “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,” (Rom 9:21-23)
The fact that GOD shows mercy to anyone is amazing considering the nature of man. The natural man grows angry when he reads “Esau have I hated”, because he assumes GOD is somehow obligated to love all men the same. Actually he should stand more in amazement when he reads, “Jacob have I loved”. There is far more reason that HE should hate the whole human race than there is that HE should love even one of us.
Yet it has pleased HIM to love a people which HE chose in CHRIST before the foundation of the world in order to demonstrate the glory of HIS grace and to make HIS mercy known in the heavens and the earth. This fact takes away all room for boasting among men and the objects of HIS mercy can do nothing but praise HIM for the glory of HIS grace. HE who has need of nothing did manifest HIS mercy in the salvation of that people which HE has ordained unto eternal life.
So why is there a difference between Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar. They were both sprung from the same heathen ancestry, were worshippers of the same pagan gods, and were full of their own self importance and the fulfilling of their carnal lusts. There is one word which sums up the only difference between them. Grace, marvelous grace of a sovereign GOD.
The prophet told Belshazzar that he was “weighed in the balances and found wanting”. The “balances” is a term which has reference to the scales of GOD’s justice. Those scales are not kind to any who are weighed thereupon. The ignorant and blind consider that these scales hold out some hope that they shall be measured thereby and be found possessing an acceptable amount of righteousness believeing that GOD should have regard to their good deeds. All religions of the earth believe that to be the case. The moralists put all of their hope there. Yet the fact is that all who are weighed thereupon shall be found wanting even as Belshazzar and shall taste of the same destruction as he has.
The WEIGHT which is upon that balance (to which all placed thereon are compared to) is of such purity as to demand perfect righteousness without the least deviation from the holiness of GOD. The only hope that any man born of woman has; is to escape being weighed upon that balance. Those who are hidden in CHRIST, (the elect of GOD) are never placed upon those scales for HE has been weighed in their behalf. HE has swallowed their sin, consumed the condemnation of the law which was upon them, and they are seen not as wanting but rather as those who are without sin before GOD, because HE is their SUBSTITUTE.
The just recompense of their sin was laid upon HIM before they were created in Adam, HE is and always has been their perfect RIGHTEOUSNESS before the throne of GOD.mam