The King And I…
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego… there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” (Dan 3.28-29).
Nebuchadnezzar was right of course, Daniel’s God, the God of the Bible, our Heavenly Father, was and is perfectly capable of bringing about his glory in all the world. Even through the lips of the most powerful pagan king in the world.
We’re studying Daniel 3 tonight. One of the things that clearly stands out is the description of Nebuchadnezzar’s Golden Image as ‘the image Nebuchadnezzar had set up‘ (e.g. 3. 3,5,7,12). Daniel clearly wants to get across the sheer craziness of what’s going on… it’s an idol that man has set up… it’s lower than man, and yet everyone’s being ordered to bow down and worship it by the authorities.
Absolute madness… a million miles away from twenty-first century civilisation, right? Hmm. The idea of identifying idols by the way humans have set them up shows how much man-made worship there is going on. Am I really like S, M, and A? In Nebuchadnezzar’s decree at the end of the chapter (post-fiery-furnace-rescue) he points our that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were trusting servants of God, and had ‘set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.’ (v. 28).
Or am I more like Nebuchadnezzar? Acknowledging God’s authority, yet showing no sign of personal submittal (‘…therefore I make a decree…’, ‘…shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins…’ v. 29). Has he still missed the point? It seems he’s still ruling without asking God for wisdom, and with a tyrranical mindset.
Any god except my own God? Any?! Would I rather yield up my body rather than serve and worship any god except my own? Or are we still bowing down to things we’ve set up?