Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him. The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.” Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon. Also Daniel petitioned the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon; but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.
Notice that while Nebuchadnezzar is very impressed, he isn’t really converted. “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.”
See why that’s not good enough? What’s missing?
Monotheism. He needs to say that there is only one God. He still doesn’t get it.
That’s not too surprising at this stage though. Recall how Daniel has been easing Nebuchadnezzar into knowing the real God. First, in Daniel 2:28, he said that “there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets.” Then, in 2:37 he said, “For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory.” Lastly, in 2:45, he said that, “the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this.”
That’s not exactly pounding monotheism. It’s not surprising that Nebuchadnezzar still refers to God as “your God.”
The lessons will continue.
Nebuchadnezzar’s path to faith was normal. Obviously, some of the plot lines were unique, but the internal maturation of Nebuchadnezzar’s faith was typical.
There are many baby steps, and some big steps, in everyone’s path to faith. Even Martin Luther had more than one lightning bolt moment. Some of these moments can happen before one crosses the line and professes Jesus as their Lord, some of them after.
Unfortunately, some Christians think that conversion is all in one moment. New Christians often don’t even fully understand what they’ve signed up for. Yet their teaching is neglected because “they’re saved now.” The truth is that faith is a process—a lifelong process.
Shepherding that process is one of the most important functions of the church. Christians should examine themselves in terms of their growth path. At the Fellowship of Ailbe, we are intentional about this. Personal assessment is part of the membership process and renewing that assessment is important.
Every Christian should grow in some noticeable way over the course of, say, a year.
To subscribe to The DEEP click here:
All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.