Handwriting is unique to each person. The handwriting of adults is so peculiar that it is highly inconceivable that any two people could indeed write identically. This fact is good enough to make graphologists earn their daily bread. Interestingly, the graphologists tell us that learned calligraphy during school is adjusted as life goes by and with the development of personal disposition. Even though a teacher could be one, teaching the same letters, and with the same method, each person will write with their imprint.
It is hard to come across a person who cannot read their handwriting. But it is fairly common to find someone who cannot read your handwriting. There are people you are close to, presumably family members, or very intimate friends, who write poorly but you can still read their handwriting. This is because you have been exposed to their handwriting so many times that you can make sense of their words characters. Reading their handwriting is a piece of cake. However, a person who is not familiar with this handwriting may find it hard to read.
The advent of computers has saved us a great deal. I don’t have to worry that my handwriting is illegible.
The writings on the wall
In the Book of Daniel (Daniel 5), we encounter a brief account of a hubristic King by the name Belshazzar. Belshazzar throws a party for thousands of his nobles accompanied by great wining and dining. The merriment goes on until the king orders for the vessels that were taken from Jerusalem temple be brought forth for use. The vessels are used to drink as they worship their idols and that is the time hell breaks loose. As it were, every action generates a reaction and this utter sacrilege results in handwriting on the wall.
Whatever is written on the wall cannot be read. None of the guys at the bash can understand it.
“You cannot understand what you cannot read. You cannot read that which you aren’t familiar with. You cannot be familiar with that which you are not related to. You cannot be related to that which you are not in fellowship with.”
These guys were fellowshipping with other gods and there is no way they could decrypt God’s handwriting. To be able to understand what has been written, you must be able to read it first. To read it you must be familiar with the writer’s handwriting. Belshazzar and his buddies were bereft of these supreme elements.
The writings made the king frozen. The Bible says that his knees knocked together. We always fear what we cannot read and understand. The unknown causes jitteriness.
To get out of this conundrum, the King had to seek help. He started by looking for help from what he was familiar with – the astrologers, enchanters, diviners and all wizards of the first order in his kingdom. He was looking for help in the wrong places.
“Sometimes the help we look for will not come from familiar places. It might just come from unfamiliar places.”
All king’s wise men, put together, could not crack the mystery. Then the queen (Bible scholars tell us that it was Belshazzar’s mother and not his wife), came with a wise idea.
“Solutions to mysteries in our lives start with an idea, a piece of advice, information, a recommendation.”
She advised the king to summon Daniel. Daniel had an out-of-this-world gift of interpreting dreams and mysteries. This gift took him into palaces.
“The gift that God gave you can take you from places to palaces.”
Daniel comes on the scene and is promised heaven and earth. He rejects the offer but goes ahead to serve the king. It is not a must that we are rewarded every time we serve, give and sacrifice. Your singing gift is not for minting money from King Belshazzar.
“Nowadays we have many gospel artists and few worshipers, Many Christian writers and few Christians who write.”
Daniel goes on to read and explain the handwriting on the wall. The interpretation is not good for the ears of the king, but this does not stop him from dressing Daniel in purple and gold chains. Can we stand by our word despite the shifting winds? Can circumstances make us change our promises?
Daniel was able to read the handwriting and interpret it because Jehovah was his Father. No child can fail to read and interpret what the Father has written. On the other hand, a play-actor will have trouble understanding this.
As these events were going on, the Medo-Persian Army under Cyrus was camping outside the city walls of Babylon. Historians tell us that Babylon had two walls – for defence. The Persians established a blockade in the Euphrates River which lowered the water level and allowed them to walk into Babylon under the walls, taking the Babylonians by surprise.
Belshazzar had thought the city could not be penetrated. He was butchered that very night.
In one minute Belshazzar was having a sumptuous party and the next minute he was having a grave baptism. That is life. Things do change and sometimes rapidly. Nothing lasts. Whatever God has written will come to pass, irrespective of whether we understand it or not.
“History is always on His side.”
God has scribbled many things on walls around my life but most of the time I have ignored them. How many times have we ignored what God has been writing around our lives, even when we understand it?
God has handwriting and we can do better if we read it, understand it, and respond to it.