Showing posts with the label Nebuchadnezzar

God Grants Sovereignty

The  Book of Daniel  presents insights into the future with an emphasis on the rise and fall of empires. This includes times of “ tribulation ” when the people of God endure persecution at the hands of despotic pagan rulers. However, before doing so, the Book declares that the downfall of the Jewish kingdom was according to the will of Yahweh. It was the God of Israel who “ gave ” the Babylonian king sovereignty over Judah.

Land of Shinar

The arrogant acts of Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Daniel parallel the incident at the Tower of Babel in Genesis .  The  Book of Daniel  begins by referring to the Babylon of Daniel’s day as the “ Land of Shinar ,” a verbal link to the story of the Tower of Babel in  Genesis  and the founding of the city of Babel that centuries later became the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. That incident is echoed again in the third chapter of the Book when Nebuchadnezzar gathered all the nations and peoples of his realm to pay homage to the great golden image that he had “ set up ” on the Mesopotamian plain.

Empires Rise and Fall

Imperial arrogance is the legacy of Babel, humanity’s first but certainly not last attempt to establish a World Empire . The Tower of Babel incident is echoed in the  Book of Daniel  when the new ruler of “ Shinar ,” Nebuchadnezzar, gathered all nations to pay homage to the great golden image that he had set up in the “ Plain of Dura .” His empire was not a new political entity, but the latest incarnation of Satan’s ancient effort to unite humanity under his overlordship, a plan that has been underway since human civilization dawned.

The King's Dream

Only Daniel could reveal and interpret the Nebuchadnezzar’s troubling dream, thereby unveiling the future of empires and God’s Kingdom . The second and third chapters of the  Book of Daniel  present a single story told in two parts. First, the Babylonian ruler, Nebuchadnezzar, dreams of an enormous image composed of several materials, which Daniel then interprets. In the process, the Prophet demonstrates the sovereignty of God over History. Second, in Chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar attempts to implement his dream in his own way by erecting a great golden image on the “ Plain of Dura .”

Downfall and Restoration

Nebuchadnezzar has another dream, and as before, one that only Daniel can interpret. Yahweh will remove the king from power until he learns that the “ Most-High God ” is sovereign over the affairs of men. Chapter 4 begins and ends with the Babylonian ruler acknowledging the sovereignty of the God of Israel.

Great Image of the King

The King invested great effort to make his dream into reality. First, he “ set up ” an enormous image covered in gold to represent his majesty and the irresistible power of the Empire. Then, he commanded all the “ peoples and nations and tongues ” of his realm to pay homage to his image or face a horrific and certain death in the “ burning fiery furnace .”

God Grants Sovereignty

God gave the kingdom of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, but He also equipped Daniel and his companions for service in the court of Babylon .  In its opening paragraph, the book of  Daniel  labels Babylon the “ land of Shinar ,” a verbal link to the “ tower of Babel ” incident.   The Neo-Babylonian Empire has an ancient pedigree, and like his ancient forbears, Nebuchadnezzar determined to unite all men under one language and one government so all men might render homage to his great golden image.