Old Testament reading: Daniel 5-6
“He saw the handwriting on the wall.” This well known phrase comes from our reading today. As in the day the event occurred, the phrase indicates the inevitability of an event or conclusion. Belshazzar appears to be a sad case of a young man who was given everything in life and never challenged in matters pertaining to personal growth or moderation. Throwing a great feast for his lords, he and his debauched companions drank wine from the gold and silver vessels taken from Solomon’s temple, vessels sanctified for the service of the God of heaven. As they praised their idols it happened, a man’s hand appeared and wrote on the wall before him. As in chapter 2, Daniel was summoned when the king’s “wise men” could neither read nor interpret the writing. Before interpreting the writing on the wall, Daniel reminded Belshazzar of his grandfather’s comeuppance and condemned him saying, “But you… have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this.” The lesson was learned, but it was too late to save the king or his kingdom. Note – Nebuchadnezzar is called Belshazzar’s father, but the word here means ancestor (cf Josh 24:15). Nebuchadnezzar was Belshazzar’s grandfather. Belshazzar’s father was Nabodinus, who spent most of his time practicing idolatry in Teima.
New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 8-11
1 Corinthians 11 – “Looking” at the Lord’s Supper. Among the problems in the Corinthian church was the mess they had made concerning the Lord’s Supper (vv 18-22). In verses 23-33, Paul gives instruction to correct the matter. First, he commands them to look backward to the cross – “do this in remembrance of Me.” Second, he instructs them to look forward to the return of Jesus – “you proclaim the Lord’s death till he comes.” Third, he commands them to look inward – “but let a man examine himself.” Finally, he commands them to look around – “Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.” In other words, the Supper is to be observed in unity and consideration of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Remembering where to look has been a great help to me in my personal observance of the Lord’s Supper.