Don’t Worship Yourself, Worship Him
So let's recall where we have been. King Nebuchadnezzar is the king who rules the planet. He recently overpowered Judah and Jerusalem, taking captive some of the best and brightest of God's people. Then four young men become the center of the story. They are Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They walked hundreds of miles to the city of Babylon, which is modern-day Iraq. They are re-educated at a university in Babylonia, which indoctrinates them with secular philosophy. Then they are physically mutilated by castration, which is slightly further than circumcision but not as far as sexual reassignment. And to top it off, they are given new names that delete God's name from their identity. These occurrences are fascinating, aren't they, given the signs of our times and what we see happening in our culture?
Then Nebuchadnezzar has this terrifying dream and demands that someone tells him the dream and the interpretation; otherwise, he will slay all the magicians and seers. And right at the last minute, Daniel comes forward to tell him the dream and the interpretation. And for a second, we witness what appears to be a reverent king. But don't be fooled. We haven't got into chapter 3 yet. So now we fast forward about 20 years. Daniel is about 30 by this time, and here's what happens next in Babylonia.
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald proclaimed aloud, "You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace." Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. — Daniel 3:1-7
So we discover that the king did not have a problem with self-esteem. Who's arrogant enough to build a statue of themselves that's six stories tall? And you should know, lots of monarchs have done things like this. You can find shrines like this today in countries like China and North Korea. But this king goes one step further. He gathers his political forces, not for a vote but to deliver a mandate. He demands that everyone bow down and worship him or be put to death. So I think we can assume this guy has a little bit of a messiah complex. And you thought your boss was an arrogant narcissist. This man wins the award.
But here's the deal. While you might think Nebuchadnessar's a little nuts, he is merely a depiction of the sinfulness and selfishness in every man's heart. He is a manifestation of how arrogant we can all become. The difference between him and us is that he's got the power and wealth to display it shamelessly because he doesn't care what anyone thinks.
But here's the harsh truth. We all have the same desire. Now we might be "better" at hiding it, but all men have these lurching desires to possess power and control. For example, we may try to get it at work. And most of the time, this doesn't work so well. Therefore when we can't have it there, we attempt to get it at home. And if we cannot get it there, we coach youth sports to gain some means of control over others. Laughable, but you know there's some truth in this. Yet the problem with this kind of power and control is that it's manufactured from selfish desires based on deep feelings of insecurity and fear. And because of insecure fear-based control, worship is demanded and punished when not obeyed, which is precisely what Nebuchadnezzar did. Yet this is exactly the opposite of how God leads. God leads from pure love and true justice, giving a man a choice to obey so that his worship is freely offered because of who he is and how he leads.
And fellas, this is why we must daily and regularly worship God. As we worship God, we submit our fears and insecurities to him. We break down and destroy the idols of selfishness and the lurching desires for power and control. So today, take a moment to confess a selfish desire in the comments below. Give it to God as a showing of sacrifice, and then take a moment to listen to that worship song I have posted below.
ASK THIS: What desire do you need to submit to God today?
DO THIS: Worship him.
PRAY THIS: God, you are worthy of all worship.
PLAY THIS: Holy Is Your Name.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.