King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Daniel 3:1-7 (NIV).
Sometime after Nebuchadnezzar recognized that God is God, he decided that’s no longer the case. He’d shallowly gotten what he wanted, so he moved on and forgot what he’d said. Now, Nebuchadnezzar built a massive gold statue of himself, then commanded everyone to worship it.
This is gonna leave a mark, so prepare yourself. Me and you? We’re Nebuchadnezzar. If you don’t think so, try asking yourself, “what about me,” and be honest about where those words could take you. Our human pride, in some ways so essential to our survival, can also make things, or ourselves, into idols we think – or demand – are worthy of worship. We make it easy to forget to credit the Lord for all of our blessings when we’re striving to proclaim we have made a job well done, one we want others to praise.
Granted, there’s a difference between recognizing good work and deifying yourself. But, there isn’t much separating those two things. As Jimmy Buffet said (in a different context), “there’s a thin line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.” And, it’s a healthy (even Godly) thing to be complimented and built up for things we say or do well.
What’s needed is what Nebuchadnezzar forgot: humility, grace, and thankfulness. A massive gold statue speaks to their opposite.
Best thing to say about such things is, “be careful.” Enjoy applause but don’t seek it, and never forget to give God credit because He deserves it more.
For further reading: Isaiah 46:6, Jeremiah 16:20, Matthew 13:42, Revelation 10:11, Revelation 13:12, Daniel 3:8
Lord God, all I know is from You. You are God and I’m not. Thank You!
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