Reading the writing on the wall
Updated: May 26, 2022
We’re learning how to stand in turbulent, scary, and unpredictable times. This time, we want to see a key to that: learning how to read the writing on the wall!
“At that very moment, the fingers of a human hand appeared and began writing on the lamp-illumined, whitewashed wall of the palace. When the king saw the disembodied hand writing away, he went white as a ghost, scared out of his wits. His legs went limp and his knees knocked. He yelled out for the enchanters, the fortunetellers, and the diviners to come. He told these Babylonian magi, “Anyone who can read this writing on the wall and tell me what it means will be famous and rich-purple robe, the great gold chain-and be third-in-command in the kingdom.” —Daniel 5:5-7 (MSG)
1. Daniel reminds the King what happened to his father.
2. Daniel compares King B with his dad.
3. He gives three words;
God has numbered your days.
You have been weighed on the scales and you don’t weigh much.
Your kingdom has been divided and handed over.
Big Idea - The writing on the wall is a prophetic word for us today. An unshakeable life has everything to do with what we deposit and chase and feed our souls, spirit, and body.
Three things God is saying to us:
1. Look at the handwriting on your wall. Let’s make the necessary adjustment while we still have time, before it’s too late.
2. It’s time to get on the scales. Let’s get real!
Satan traps to kill and destroy through lies and idols. He uses deception and distraction.
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.
—Luke 21:34 (NIV)
Some necessary adjustments we should make before it is too late
a. Take action, so we don’t waste a day and eventually a life.
b. Take a personal inventory and honest evaluation of where our hearts are at.
1. Who sits on the throne of my heart today? What gods control me? (Pleasure, comfort, addiction, money, control?)
2. What lie am I chasing? Lies of blame? Lies that might tell me to decide that life for others would be better without me?
3. Become good at asking ourselves questions. Questions can help us make necessary adjustments. Ask questions that begin with “Why” so we can face the truth in our hearts.
Why am I so angry? Why do I hate? Why do I have no friends? Why do I think I’m not worth loving? Why is it everyone else’s fault? Why am I blaming God? Why did I decide God doesn’t care? Why am I so judgey?
Realize that filling myself with weightless words, beliefs, and desires put me at risk for self-destruction. Anything contrary to the words and character of Jesus is weightless. God wants to help us get good at recognizing what is weightless and occupying space in our hearts.
God wants us to know and receive what is weighty and is worth building a life on.
“O yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God-you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration-what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”
—Ps. 139:13-16 (MSG)
“I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all-oh, how well I remember-the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over) He’s all I got left.
God proves to be good to the man who patiently waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.”
—Lamentations 3:19-27 (MSG)
“Generous in love-God, give grace! Huge in mercy-wipe out my bad record. Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down.
You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. I’ve been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. What you’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.”
—Psalms 51:1-6 (MSG)
Decide to do one thing today. One thing each day moves you in the right direction.
Come to the cross
Own instead of blame
Replace a lie
Reject the idol
Let’s be brave. Step on the scale. Starting this moment, let’s walk out of what is comfortably familiar and wrong and dark. Let’s come to the light.