Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
by Rev. Eu Hong Seng
Few are familiar with these words, even Christians.
But these words will one day haunt every careless soul, every self-centred, godless church, every vile authority and every wicked nation.
These mysterious words were the famous "writing on the wall" found in Daniel chapter 5. Belshazzar the impious king was carousing with his concubines and debauched guests, thumbing their nose at the God of Israel, defiling the golden vessels of the Temple, revelling into the wee hours of the morning when all of a sudden, the writing appeared on the wall.
These words mean "God has numbered your days," "you have been weighed and found wanting," and "your kingdom is divided between the Medes and the Persians."
The all-powerful king had no inkling that his kingdom could end in less than 24 hours, well not at least without a fight. In his overconfidence he forgot his humanity and definitely the God his forefathers had encountered.
"The writing is on the wall" is today a common English phrase. As it happened to the most powerful man alive then, it can and it will happen to any who dares mock and fearlessly challenge our God. That fateful night spelt the end of the Babylonian empire, proving once again that no regime is exempt from divine dealings.
All too often, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, kings and paupers alike, forget that though we forget God, He does not forget.
To the individual who persistently sins, the day of reckoning will come. To the church who ignores the Word, defiles herself and has no time to be missional, the lampstand will be removed. To the nation who thrives on unrighteousness, injustice, and robs the poor - floods, earthquakes, fires and both economic and natural disasters will be the norm.
That night in BC 539, knees were shaking. The Babylonian wise men could provide no answers. Despite the sobriety in atmosphere and the willingness to seek counsel from the man of God (Daniel), nothing could change the course of history. It was not merely any writing on the wall - it was the writing written by the very finger of God.
Materialism, kickbacks and perks have desensitised many good people while compromise and the unwillingness to be discipled have caused many churches to lose sight of her missionality. On the national front, corruption and wastage remain unashamedly unabated.
Know that the God who is in control of the universe, is not content to just keep spinning the planet. He is still capable of writing on the wall - and it could well be your wall, my wall or our nation's wall.
It would pay for us to take note, as the days will surely come when we would hear our "mene, mene!"