He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this… (Daniel 5:21-22 ESV)
“Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. And this is the writing that was inscribed: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin. This is the interpretation of the matter: Mene, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; Tekel, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; Peres, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” (Daniel 5:24-28 ESV)
From this account do we get the expression, “the handwriting is on the wall.” Belshazzar did not learn the lesson his father learned, that God is the one who appoints rulers. All glory belongs to him and any held by a man is merely derived from God for a time. His prideful ways were at an end and the writing on the wall indicated as such. The writing itself is telling – particularly the middle phrase, “you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.” This assessment could be true of any one of us and should humble us. We should learn the same lessons that Belshazzar should have learned from his father. All that we have, while coming to us through our hard work, is ultimately ours because God has given it. It is he who gave us our minds, our families, our opportunities, etc. thus, pride has no place.
Lord, protect me from pride today and give me an appreciation for your mercy and grace!