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Sunday: Nebuchadnezzar — 10 Comments

  1. There is a background to the story of Nebuchadnezzar that appeals to me, probably because I am an academic. The Babylonian empire was noted for its intellectual development. They had a place-value numerical system based on 60 which still has an influence today (60 minutes to the hour, 360 degrees in the circle, and so on). They could solve quadratic and cubic equations and had calculated the value of Pi to about 6 decimal places, When Babylon waged war on the neighbors, one of their targets was to head-hunt the intellectuals in that nation and bring them to Babylon. Daniel and his friends were not in the king's court just by chance. They were tenured professors in Babylon University.

    We are inclined to trivialize some of the interactions that took place between the 4 friends, the other wise men, and Nebuchadnezzar but the basis for interaction between these folk was more intellectual than we sometimes portray. It is in this environment that Daniel and his friends gave credit to the God of the universe that they understood from their Hebrew upbringing.

    In today's world, we often stereotype intellectuals as essentially Godless and sometimes that picture ignores the Christian intellectuals who are highly influential in that environment. People like C S Lewis at Oxford University who wrote a whole series of widely acclaimed literature with a distinctly Gospel message. C A Coulson at London University, a scientist who developed much of the molecular orbital theory that I studied in my days as a science undergraduate.

    I recently read a book on the development of some of the great telescopes that are still in use today and found that several of the scientists involved had quite a profound Christian faith.

    My point is that not only can the Christian faith survive in a secular environment, but it can also bear witness, even in the intellectual courts of kings.

  2. Our might and wealth can vanish unexpectedly. Yesterday, I was strolling through the streets of Nairobi in the evening. The weather was pleasant, but suddenly, heavy rain started pouring. It reminded me of how swiftly things can change. Without relying on God, we're vulnerable. Let's stay vigilant and true to ourselves as we follow what the Almighty wants from us.

  3. When we put our trust in the material things, financial or social position we (think) achieved, we are destined to fail. We can all die and take nothing. Life in abundance is what we should invest in. And how do we do this? By "buying" true riches from the donor of all we are and have: from God! Invest in this relationship, and you will see how surreal your life can become!

  4. This experience of Daniel encourages us to let our light shine everywhere we are and not shield it from anyone. Leaders of all types, and higher classes, qualify for God's redemption. (I Timothy 2:1-4) We see that everyone might have a soul hunger. Many times our church groups do community service to only the people who are needy in obvious ways, such as the homeless or those in prison or in nursing homes, assuming that they are the lowest-hanging fruit and the most likely to approve our efforts. This is potentially selfish of us, though. When we design our outreach and service around how WE can guarantee OUR acceptance and approval from those receiving us, we are definitely misguided. Daniel and his friends boldly made decisions that would make them unpopular and went against the grain of public opinion, when they recognized that as what God wanted them to do. They were consistent and not hypocritical.

    We should prayerfully look for what edifies our peers both inside and outside of the church, and earnestly, humbly work on those areas. Work on meeting the soul hunger of our peers and of our/their leaders even outside of church. Among our church people, speak what boosts our hope and courage, not criticizing our own leadership, but rather helping our leaders to keep focus. Let us make our church evironments pleasant and appealing and nourishing for people of Daniel's caliber, well-educated, providing nothing to embarass them. May the Lord grant us courage to be no respecters of persons, but to generously shed His light wherever He puts us.

  5. With all the riches that one can obtain while still treading this earth, humility is a call to all.Recognising the giver of all that we posses is the greatest we can do and He who gives it all will bless us more.

  6. I do not think that the purpose of God was to bring Nebuchadnezzar ‘down’ or ‘low’; was it not rather done to establish to the people of the then known world ruled by Nebuchadnezzar that there is one more powerful than himself – that man has a true King and God, the Creator of heaven and earth which loves them and cares about them?

    Having learned that it is He who places kings into their seat of power as well as take them down to give it to someone else, what is left for man but to consider and understand the reasons for which a king has been chosen. Is not all done to establish God’s Master Plan to save mankind?

    Would it not be reasonable to consider all ‘kings’ and ‘leaders’ in high places to fulfill a certain purpose in the grand design of the salvation of mankind? Whether they end up acknowledging Him personally as Nebuchadnezzar did or to reject Him as did the king of Egypt, nothing will stop the Grand Design aimed at redeeming mankind to be able to join the Kingdom of God.

    I consider that it is in spite of his ‘pride and arrogance’, that God reached out to make Nebuchadnezzar an example of the Love and Grace expressed through His spiritual Kingship over mankind. Though their king was feared and obeyed by all, God showed the type of Love, Mercy and Grace which will touch man’s heart to awaken it to love his Maker more than one can ever love a king or powerful leader.

    This change of perspective is demonstrated by Nebuchadnezzar’s declaration of faith in his new God, the King of heaven, which he testifies to be the only One deserving his and his peoples worship because of His true Greatness – Daniel 4:36-37.

  7. The story of Nebuchadnezzar shows us we should never write anyone off, not even the most evil leaders today. I could name a few, but don't want to inflame the discussion! If God can save Nebuchadnezzar, he can certainly save them.

  8. If there's a people I should meet when the call is made, Nebuchadnezzar tops the list. I think of him and I wonder, "how much have I made and own as Ochieng'?" The psalmist says "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof". Psalm 24:1. And "For all things come of thee and of thine own have we given thee," 1 Chronicles 29:14. We own nothing save our sins.

  9. God has a way of Changing, converting and bringing people to himself. If we really want to be missionaries we must alway keep our vertical connection with God. Only through this the lord will place us in right place to save mankind like Daniel and his three friends and the Lord converting King Nebuchadnezzar.


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