Yes, I know, the saying actually is “The handwriting on the wall.”     The saying means there are obvious signs that not only is something wrong,  but your time is up!    Things are going to come to an end — a pretty bad and well-deserved end.

Party’s over!

mene luridThe saying originated during a great and lavish banquet held by Balthazar, acting ruler of the great Babylonian empire.   The word was that for 70 years the Jewish people would be subjected to imperial rule, and then their God would somehow rescue them.

Pah!     70 years is up!  It’s over!  And no God appears.    And that’s what the big banquet was all about.  And to show how remote and powerless their God is,  Balthazar ordered that the sacred vessels used in the worship of this God be taken out of storage and used for this profane and  blasphemous banquet.

Kind of an “in your face”  move.


And then –  the banquet was interrupted.  A supernatural hand appeared and wrote some words on the wall in the banquet hall.        “You’ve been weighed in the balance scales and have been found wanting.”

In a flash Balthazar knew that the God of Abraham,  Isaac, and Jacob is indeed God-Most-High, and he had been scrutinized,  and he, Balthazar,  does not measure up.    Judgment upon Balthazar and his empire.

We move forward in time a little bit.    The Word of God is no longer “on a wall,”  but comes down from Heaven,  incarnate,   Jesus, the Christ.      And men come to Him with a test and with evil in their hearts, and with the desire to destroy him with a question.    No matter which way He answers,  He will be in trouble with one authority or another.

They present to Him a woman who was caught in the act of adultery.    This is a great sin against any society, for it rips and weakens that part of society that the marriage belongs to.    She must be punished.    Shouldn’t she be?    For the good of all?

Jesus sand first timeThe Omniscient Word of God knows all – the whole scoreboard, all the moves,  all the players, all their records.    All…their records.

The Son of God, the Word of the Father,  bends down and produces some words in the sand.

There is no account of this story that tells us what those words were.   There are some good guesses.    These men who dishonor and blaspheme God by their thoughts and intentions can see a few of the words.   The words are personal, as though this Man whom they are testing has already tested them — and has found each of them “wanting.”

Jesus in the sand

They begin to realize they have been mistaken about Jesus somehow.    His words can “somehow” penetrate into their most secret, private thoughts, and the words become their Handwriting on the Wall.

I wonder about these men sometimes.     They left, one by one.    Where did they go?     Did they meet again together, survivors of some supernatural encounter they couldn’t accept, and did they brush it off as “of no consequence”?    Did some of them or even one of them realize they had an encounter with the Living God,  whose righteousness and truth finds them lacking?     Did any become humble and seek God’s mercy?       Hard hearts or repentance?

We can move forward again in time.   Say,  about two thousand years.   Same  Living God;  same Christ;  same Lord and Redeemer of humans.     And now we know:

There is Handwriting on the Wall.   There is Handwriting in the Sand.

There are some Words for us.

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  1. Denis Bach Says:

    Excellent, Kris.

  2. Thanks, my friend. Wasn’t sure where I’d end up once I started writing it. And thanks for the Title!!

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