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up against the wall
"Suddenly, opposite the lampstand, the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king's palace." —Daniel 5:5
King Nebuchadnezzar's "heart became proud and his spirit hardened by insolence, he was put down from his royal throne and deprived of his glory; he was cast out from among men and was made insensate as a beast" (Dn 5:20-21). King Nebuchadnezzar's son, Belshazzar, did not humble his "heart, though [he] knew all this" (Dn 5:22). Belshazzar was so arrogant that, under the influence of wine, he drank from the sacred vessels taken from the Temple. Thus, God made a hand appear which wrote on the wall (Dn 5:5). The handwriting on the wall was: Mene, Tekel, Peres (Dn 5:25). "Mene" means that his kingdom was ended (Dn 5:26). "Tekel" means that the fall of his kingdom was his fault (Dn 5:27). "Peres" gives the details of the demise of his kingdom (see Dn 5:28).
Are you arrogant? Have you refused to learn humility when seeing others humbled? If so, the Lord promises He will humble you (see Mt 23:12). Repent and humble yourself now. This may be your last chance before the handwriting's on the wall. A few minutes after Daniel interpreted the handwriting, King Belshazzar was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom (Dn 5:30—6:1). Once the handwriting's on the wall, the wages of sin are to be paid very soon (see Rm 6:23). Repentance and humility may be now or never. How many lives, marriages, and families must you see destroyed before you realize you are next? "Be humbled in the sight of the Lord" (Jas 4:10).
Prayer: Father, grace me to see repentance as a privilege to be taken at every opportunity.
Promise: "By patient endurance you will save your lives." —Lk 21:19
Praise: When falling into small thoughts or actions of pride, Lucy asks God to humble her.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, April 24, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 28, 2003