DayBreaks for 7/19/17: The King Has Spoken
From the DayBreaks archive, July 2007:
Daniel 3:28-29 (NIV) – Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.
Nebuchadnezzar is such an interesting character. He is the prototype of the ancient Middle Eastern despot. One moment, he’s trying to kill God’s servants for their defiance of his order, and the next, he’s praising their God and honoring them for their steadfastness! Perhaps we can learn something from this man:
FIRST: we are fickle. Depending on what happens to us and around us, we can quickly shift from rebellion to praise. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t have to give praise to God – he didn’t know Him (although he may have known about Him) at all at this point (and arguably never did truly know Yahweh.)
SECOND: the king changed his tune because of amazement at seeing the hand of God at work. Why aren’t we so filled with wonder and awe when we see His hand at work? It seems that we really don’t see it – if it turned a pagan king into a God-praiser, why do His people struggle so much to find praise in their lips and hearts more often?
THIRD: good old King Neb (that’s much easier to type than his full name!) did, in the end of this passage at least, get it right: “no other god can save in this way.” Has any other god ever been able to deliver His adherents from a fiery furnace? No. And it is interesting how God delivered them – He joined them in the fire and was their shield and protector. It shouldn’t surprise us that He did this – God has always been about delivering His children from famine, flood or fire – whether it was the fire of a furnace or hellfire. And in all cases, He does it by coming to join us and to keep us from even the hint of smoke!
Although Neb knew about God after this experience, he still didn’t get it. God is a deliverer – a Saver. Neb wanted to cut up and burn down the houses of those who spoke against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. If that’s how God was, there certainly wouldn’t be any overpopulation in this world, would there? But, glory hallelujah!, that’s not how God is!We might be tempted to listen to worldly kings as they ruminate about life and power. Whatever we do, let’s be sure and hear the Voice that spoke the world into existence, and to do His will!
PRAYER: Jesus, make us bold in the confidence of Your power and especially in Your power to save. Turn us into those who praise You at all times! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>