Let's cut Nebuchadnezzar some slack, shall we?

Daniel 3 (1)

Nebuchadnezzar was so pleased with Daniel’s interpretation of his dream, that he set about right away to help make that dream come true. Compare his actions in verses 1-7 with what Daniel revealed about the dream. He may have thought he had some kind of divine sanction for doing this, since God had given him the dream and all. But he would soon find out that he’d gone rather too far in his misguided interpretation of what God intended.

Read Psalm 115.

Read Daniel 3.1-7.

Think it Through
1.  Let’s be generous toward Nebuchadnezzar. Let’s suppose he was only trying to put into effect what Daniel had seen in his dream, perhaps as a commemoration of the dream, perhaps even to honor God who gave the dream. Yes, I know, that’s being very generous. But where did Nebuchadnezzar go wrong? How can you see that he went beyond what God revealed through Daniel (1 Cor. 4.6)?

2.  Who was commanded to attend the dedication of this image? Keeping in mind that God is sovereign, and what we know is about to happen, why was it important that all these people, representing all these places and languages, should be there? This gathering of disparate rulers and people reminds us a bit of the situation in Acts 2. Explain.

“The enemy prepares the theater, and the king himself collects the spectators and prepares the lists; a theater too, not of chance persons or of some private individuals but of all those who were honorable and in authority, so that their testimony may be worthy of credit with the multitude. They had come summoned for one thing; but they all departed having beheld another thing.” John Chrysostom (344-407 AD)

Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 1 Corinthians 4.6

Lord, You make known Your will through Your Word, and we must cling to that Word, and not go beyond it or add to it. Help me today to…

Pray Psalm 115.1-3.

Psalm 115.1-3 (Plainfield: Nothing But the Blood of Jesus)
Not to us, O God, not us, but unto Your Name give glory!
For Your love and faithfulness, ever to Your Name be glory!
Why should the nations cry, “Where is their God on high?”
You rule us, Lord, on high: Ever to Your Name be glory!

T. M Moore

For a better understanding of the book of Daniel, and all the books of the Bible, order a copy of the workbook, God’s Covenant, from our online store. The studies in this workbook will show you how the parts of the Bible connect with one another to tell the story of God’s redemption and glory (click here).

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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