READING: Daniel 3-4, 1 John 5
“How great are His miracles, and how mighty His wonders!”
Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, required everyone to worship him and his kingdom. In fact, he had others build and erect a statue of enormous size: 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide! He called together leaders from around his kingdom and ordered them to bow before the statue and honor him; if they did not do so, the result would be serious: “But whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire” (Dan. 3:6). I suspect those who know this story well remember that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down and worship, found themselves thrown into the furnace, but then experienced God’s deliverance from the fire.
What caught my attention in today’s reading, however, is the call for “people of every nation and language . . . to fall down and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up” when the music began (Dan. 3:4). Representatives of the whole empire followed the king’s decree. I love the way one writer described the response of the people: “Needless to say, there was universal compliance when the music struck up, and all the foreheads in the great multitude touched the ground at the same moment—except for three men.”*
It is striking to me, though, that the king who set up the statue and the peoples who bowed before him would not last. Kings would come and go, and kingdoms would rise and fall. Statues on the plain may have risen high into the air, but they would not stand eternally. Political and military power would be only temporary.
Only one King will reign forever, and He’s the Lamb before whom the nations will ultimately bow: “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” (Rev. 7:9-10).
No earthly king is worthy of worship. Only Christ is.
- Bow and worship Christ right now. Honor Him who is worthy.
- Pray for those around the world who revere (or fear) political leaders.
PRAYER: “Jesus, Lamb of God, I worship You alone.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Daniel 5-7, 2 John 1
* Archer, G. L., Jr. (1986). Daniel. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel and the Minor Prophets (Vol. 7, p. 52). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.