Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore, I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar takes another baby-step towards true faith. This time he says that “there is no other God who can deliver like this.” If only he’d stopped after the word “God,” and said, “There is no other God.” To Nebuchadnezzar, the one true God is still merely “the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.”
Still, the king feels compelled to make silly, brash statements, stating that people shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap. That’s a symbolic “sacrifice” to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He’s trying to placate “their god.”
Nebuchadnezzar’s fear has gone nuclear. He was flighty enough before, even though he wasn’t under any real pressure. Now he imagines that he’s gotten on the wrong side of an incredibly powerful god.
Nebuchadnezzar, O king live forever, did you happen see where that “Angel” went (the one who was in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego)?
He’s right behind you!
I feel sorry for the guy. He needs to find God soon, before his case of the yips drives him around the bend.
In addition to everything else going on, that much stress should be causing Nebuchadnezzar’s adrenal glands to secrete too much cortisol. That might explain why his sleep left him back in Daniel 2:1.
If this keeps up, it will start to make him literally ill—physically and mentally.
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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. 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.