“Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed.25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin. 26 This is the interpretation of the matter: Mene, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; 27 Tekel, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; 28 Peres, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
30 That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. 31And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old. – Daniel 6:24-31
One mark of a great novel or film is the building of tension up to the very end. As you turn the pages toward the end of the book, you wonder how the hero will possibly win the day – of if he will. His doom or glory is quickly revealed and the book offers little opportunity for reflection. It is ended.
When I’m reading such a novel I linger over those last few pages and wish for more back-story and even a look forward to what may happen in the future. Such is the reason for successful book series.
Belshazzar’s end is quick and sudden. Little commentary is given to it. There is no reflection. He is simply killed and another takes his place. Darius is now king.
Sometimes we wonder why God delays in answering our prayer. It may be that he is waiting for you or someone whose story intersects your story to repent. There are times when we simply must thank God for his delay. His deliberate answers are a gift for the sake of our repentance. But we do not know when those times will run out.
Sadly those times ran out Belshazzar very suddenly, but not without warning. Daniel tells him what the riding on the wall means: He has been weighed and found wanting. His time is up. It is set. Whether or not he repented is not made clear.
Swift to it close ebbs out life’s little day. Indeed. Teach us to number our days so that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. Now is the time of salvation. Now is the day of God’s favor. Let us draw near to you and receive help in times of our need.