In the fifth chapter of Daniel, we read about King Belshazzar and the great banquet he gave inviting a thousand nobles. They drank wine and even brought in the gold and silver goblets that his father, Nebuchadnezzar, had taken from the temple in Jerusalem (v.2) As they drank, they praised the gods of gold, silver, iron, wood, and stone. We can imagine this scene. The rich men, having a good time, talking, laughing, making deals, drinking, jolly and merry. “Suddenly the fingers of human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote.” (v.5) The words on the wall were MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. (v. 25) King Belshazzar was frightened by this and desired desperately to know what the writing meant. The Bible does not say that others read the writing, but with a thousand people in the room, they likely did, and they likely wondered, too. The king called in the enchanters, astrologers, and diviners, offering them great prizes and rewards if they could tell him what the writing meant. (v. 7)
Often, when this story is used as the subject, it is a message about the consequences of idol worship, ways in which we mock God, how consequences come in different forms, or how God allows us to enjoy our free will, but at some point He will show His disdain.
Instead of those topics, I will focus on the writing on the wall. MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. A crowd of a thousand people saw these words appear on King Belshazzar’s wall. They likely read the words and experienced a myriad of mental and emotional responses. What are these words? What does this mean? Is something going on? Belshazzar, did you write this? There was likely some chatter in the room as people discussed amongst themselves about the writing and the hidden meaning.
As I envision this scene, I would say it is not unlike our response to the many social media walls we browse each day. We must be very careful about that which we post. What we post can be perceived by different people in different ways. What we post can lead to assumptions, speculation, negative feelings. Since we are a society that loves to share our thoughts, our social media posts are an invitation to comment. Some comments are helpful, others may be hurtful, and sometimes there is no posted comment, but an impression has been made. What’s on your wall?
Personally, I think of Facebook as my happy-place. I love for my daily Facebook memory to make me smile or laugh about something that happened in the past. If that is to be so, I must ensure that my posts are positive. One year, it was my goal to post a Scripture each day for 365 days. Each day, now, one of my memories is a Scripture. Sometimes it’s a post of something one of my children said or did that made me laugh. Sometimes it’s a birthday post I made for someone, and low and behold it’s their birthday again, so I reshare the post! I don’t really want people to speculate about my Facebook posts, so for that reason, I am careful about that which I post. If my judgment on this fails, by husband is sure to let me know.
We must remember that social media is only one way to communicate. The other means of communication have not gone away - we can still call individuals, we can text, we can inbox, and we can sometimes sit down for an old fashioned face-to-face conversation. We do not have to post our every ponderance for the world to see. As I close today’s blog post, I will leave you with some words from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” And post about them, too. :-)
If you want to read the rest of Daniel 5, it is linked here.
Have a wonderful, blessed week!
I am a wife, mother, educator, and author who, between other duties, enjoys writing. My name is actually Kimberly Griffith Massey. In this blog, I will share some sighting of God's light each week.
Author Photo by
Heather G. Rollings, 2017
Cover photo by Carlton Griffith Photography