READ : Daniel 3:1-15
You are commanded . . . to worship the golden statue. (vv. 4-5)
Was the great statue Nebuchadnezzar commanded everyone to worship one of himself? It might as well have been. He believes that among all the gods he knows, “Nebuchadnezzar” is the only one that counts. So he invites everyone to express their loyalty and unity by simultaneously bowing to the statue. The king believes, as so many modern politicians do, that religion makes for better citizens, and, as President Eisenhower once remarked, “I don’t care what religion it is.” For the politician, any god will do.
So before the great statue, at the sound of the music, all fall down and worship—all except the three young men whom Daniel had promoted to high office. The king is told and becomes very, very angry, for he knows he is being directly challenged.
What is going on here? Nebuchadnezzar knows that he is not God. But he is not yet willing to surrender to the real God. So he sets up a substitute god, one which he can control for his own purposes. But God’s faithful servants refuse to bow before a deified state, even when threatened with all the state’s power.
Be prepared to be misunderstood, challenged, even threatened, when you stand up for the one true God.
Lord, help me to love those who don’t want to meet you.