When God is Little More than a Novelty

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits[a]and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

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Foliage at the Base of a Tree | Orlando, FL | January 2018

I have, on more than one occasion bought a trinket: a collection of rocks/mineral samples that I lost shortly after I got it home from our family vacation. I bought a fancy ring that turned my finger green, a water rocket that leaked and failed ever to fly, and a few other disappointing novelties that never really lived up to my pre-adolescent expectations. They never really did anything for me beyond the fleeting first moments of entertainment.

Nebuchadnezzar must have thought of God as an easily-discarded novelty. One moment he is proclaiming that the God of Daniel and his friends is the great God, saying, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings” (Daniel 2:47). The next moment is has a statue set up in his own honor and requires everyone to fall down and worship his image.

Nebuchadnezzar thought nothing of saying that Daniel’s God was supreme, but at the same time establishing himself as one who was worthy of honor and glory. He thought it was OK to have one God, but still promote himself as a lessor but also great god.

The true God, however, does not allow other gods to have the final say. In fact, the first first Commandment is simply: “You shall have no other gods.” That precludes the game that the king is playing. He will not be able to gain the obeisance of Daniel and his friends, for they will have no other gods. God is not a novelty to them.

There will be a showdown. No matter how many others line up to bow down to this new statue, no matter how many horns, pipes, lyres, trigons, harps, or bagpipes are played, they will not give homage to this idol. And in this case, it’s true: the bigger the statue is, the harder it will fall.

If God is your rabbit’s foot, trinket, or novelty, don’t look for him to come at your beck and call. If he is your true God, God of kings, and Lord of all, then lean into him, stay faithful to him, and entrust yourself to his care. He will not fail you – no matter how impressive the other gods may appear to be.

1 comment
  1. Seems like the God of Daniel (our God – the same yesterday, today and forever) is on trial, again (!) … yet, over and over and over HE proves Himself! He is so very faithful. His continual love is pretty amazing since it seems we would be so wearisome to Him in all our failings and away-turning! What a blessing to have His word to reflect upon and see HIM through so we can be clearly assured of His love for us, His will, ways and His divine character. In these ways, ours will hopefully be changed and become closer to His likeness … we continue to be works in progress.

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