Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court. Daniel 2:48-49 (NIV).
This is another miraculous turn of events. The king elevates the slave who did what his own magicians couldn’t. But, even more: with Nebuchadnezzar’s own hand, he put in place the groundwork for God’s next miracle in Babylon. He appointed Daniel as his chief advisor, and installed Daniel’s friends, as administrators over the “state” of Babylon. More in the days to come.
Until then, consider the idea that, very often, we do the same thing. You know it’s true: just as workers prepare land to hold a building, our choices often are the groundwork for our sins. Things that we do, things that we think, things that we say often become self-fulfilling prophecies that bloom in full as sin. Murder, lies, adultery, theft: they all start in the heart. If you think about it, all our sins start there, and all of them start as some combination of a particular sin and idolatry; this is ground we’ve covered before. All too often, when we sin, it’s because of choices we’ve made.
Mind you, that doesn’t say that random things don’t occur. Sometimes, things happen that aren’t our doing, aren’t our fault. A tornado doesn’t hit the town because the people there are liars. A car doesn’t T-bone yours in an intersection because you’re there all alone. And, yes, there really are some people in the world who like fire just to watch it burn others.
Things happen, yet all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Now, the good news of this is, indeed, the Good News. Our sins don’t have to condemn us to an eternity away from God. Jesus reconciled all of it. All we have to do is believe. Most often, when we believe, we’re inspired (by Him) to change our thoughts and ways, to master sin and temptation, and to make different choices. Just as our choices often breed our sins, so it is that our behavior after following Jesus can also bear good fruit that’s pleasing to Him and helpful to His Kingdom.
Nebuchadnezzar is about to find that out, when he gets another lesson in what it means to follow the Lord, and how the Lord rescues His people.
For further reading: 2 Kings 25:28, Esther 8:2, Romans 3:23, Daniel 3:1
My saving Lord God, all glory and praise to You for Your work in this world. For how You turn my sin into success; for forgiving me and then using me in Your good purposes.
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