Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone. In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other. (Dan 5:3-6 NKJ)
Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar, a new generation that enjoyed the fruits of the previous generations conquests. When Nebuchadnezzar invaded and ransacked Jerusalem, he took the vessels from the temple back to Babylon and placed them in the temple of his god. Inscriptions found to show that Nebuchadnezzar was a very religious man and showed respect for those things declared holy.
His son, Belshazzar had no respect for the holy vessels and thought that they should be used in his party. The finger of a man’s hand starts to write on the wall, and the strength drains from Belshazzar’s body. He calls for Daniel to interpret the writing and offers Daniel wealth, and position, which Daniel refuses. Because Belshazzar had not humbled himself before God, and had taken the holy things and made them unholy, his kingdom and his life will be taken—he died that night.
Today as in the days of Belshazzar, we have no respect for God or the holy things of God. Religion has replaced the relationship. The Spirit has been replaced with smoke-machines and flashing light. We declare that which is vile to be holy and glory in sin. Perhaps it’s time for the hand of God to spell it out to us plain and clear.