Handwriting on the Wall

Please welcome my friend Emily Akin as today’s guest writer. Emily and I met at Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. She continues to be one of my greatest sources for writing information. Check out her Blog4Writers for a wealth of helpful information. Emily lives in northwest Tennessee with her husband of 47 years and their Jack Russell terrier, Jeb.

Handwriting-on-the-Wall“I should have seen the handwriting on the wall,” she said. “Company profits were down. I saw my friends being laid off month after month. I knew my turn was coming.”

What does it mean — seeing the handwriting on the wall? The expression comes from the Bible story of Belshazzar’s Feast in the book of Daniel. Many Jewish people were in exile in Babylon during Belshazzar’s reign. At a court feast, Belshazzar served wine in gold and silver goblets. He had taken the goblets from the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Later, a hand with no body appeared. It wrote terrifying words on the wall. Daniel, a Jewish exile who had become a court advisor, was called. He interpreted the writing.

This is what was written: mene, mene, tekel, parsin. “Here is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Parsin: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two. (Daniel 5:25-28, 30-31, NIV).

Someone who has seen the handwriting on the wall may have

  • Had warning that disaster was coming.
  • Been doing something that he/she knew was wrong.
  • Realized a certain situation would not end well.

We sometimes continue in denial even when we have seen warning signs of

  • Job loss (company had been cutting employees for months).
  • Health problems (hereditary or lifestyle choices).
  • Personal problems (relationship with God or other people).

When we follow God’s rules for living and seek His guidance, we can learn to interpret the handwriting on the wall for ourselves.

“Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.” (Psalm 119:66, NIV).

Do you have a favorite expression or one you want explained? If so, please comment.

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Comments

Handwriting on the Wall — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks!!!!!!!! Takes a little bit of intentionality and open mindedness and caution and attentiveness maybe???? Then life is better!!! : ) ooooh, the better the better Yes Ma am, better safe than sorry!!!!!!!!!! Could really prevent something we don’t need!!!!!! And that is better than one step forward and two steps back!!!!!

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