«By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth» (Proverbs 8:15, 16).
It happened on the night of October 12, 539 BC. The royal palace of Babylon looked like never before. It had been especially adorned for the feast of the great king Belshazzar. Little by little, the guests dressed in their finest attire began to arrive. The music resonated within the huge halls of the elegant enclosure. The smiles, the greetings, and the frivolity that characterized these meetings were made present.
The truth is that that night was not a good time to throw a party. Nabonidus, king of Babylon, had provoked a debacle due to his mismanagement; he had also moved his government’s headquarters to Tayma, in Arabia. There he devoted himself to worshiping Sin, the moon god, instead of Marduk, the main god of Babylon. In his stead, his son Belshazzar remained in Babylon. During a clash with Cyrus in Opis (a hundred and eighty-five kilometers north of Babylon), Nabonidus suffered the rebellion of his own people. Finally, on October 10, 539 BC, he surrendered in Sippar (eighty kilometers north of Babylon) without having fought and fled southward to Borsippa. Then, in a moment of great danger and with the Medo-Persian army at the gates of the city threatening the fall of the empire, Belshazzar had the idea of throwing a party!
On top of it all, Belshazzar commanded that the gold and silver cups from the sanctuary of Jerusalem be brought to drink out of for both him and his guests. At that moment, a mysterious hand began to write a chilling message on the wall: «MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.» Terror seized the monarch and his guests. The music and the excitement came to an end. But no one could reveal the meaning of the words! Once again, the prophet Daniel was required to interpret the enigma and give the meaning: «MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians» (Daniel 5:26—28). That night the Babylonian empire came to an end.
God is the Owner Of this world. He uses human beings to govern this world. Those who heed His advice will strengthen their leadership and learn to trust His promises.