Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense. (Daniel 2:46)
Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. (Daniel 3:19)
The above two verses reveal Nebuchadnezzar’s two reactions that are in stark contrast to each other.
In the second verse, the original language for “facial expression” in “his facial expression was altered” is composed of two words, with one meaning “face”, which is the same word as the “face” in “fell on his face” in the first verse, and another meaning “expression”, the same word as “image” in the “golden image” set up by Nebuchadnezzar.
From this we can confer that the golden image set up by Nebuchadnezzar was somehow related to the fact that he “fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense.” When Daniel’s words pleased the king’s taste, the king worshiped Daniel as God; but when anyone dared to challenge the king’s arrogance and autocracy, “his facial expression was altered” – changed from its former “image” of falling “on his face.”
Imagine, faced with such a temptation, it would be not be easy even for a seasoned old soldier of God who had fought numerous spiritual battles to see through the king’s superficial act of play and to not fall into the trap of taking the false glory of being like God to oneself, let alone a young man like Daniel who was just starting to grow up.
Don’t we see it in the following verse? “And Daniel made request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the king’s court.” Wasn’t this a great contrast from Daniel’s initial act of not eating the king’s food and not drinking the king’s wine?
Therefore, even though Daniel did not have to stand in front of the image, his heart could still be swayed by the king of Babylon without being noticed from the outside.
Recall the image that was ordered by Nebuchadnezzar to build: “the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits”. 66 is one of the numbers that represent perfection, just like the 66 books that are contained in the whole Bible. Such a number of perfection was associated with the image of the Beast – does this not imply that in the fierce spiritual battle, discerning what is genuine and what is false is such a challenging task?
When a person compromises with the Beast inwardly, whether or not the person has the act of worshiping the Beast on the outside is not that significant any more. Because God is the One searching man’s heart and mind, He teaches us not to discern a person according to outside appearances.
Thus it was even more precious, when the Babylonian king’s “facial expression was altered toward” Daniel’s three friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, did not yield to the king publicly, nor did they take a secret route around to request the king’s mercy through Daniel.
Being humble and denying oneself is the unfailing and undying foundation for all occasions. Be careful! When both success and fame come at the same time, that is when the Beast releases its full strike on you.
This daily devotional message is taken from Taichuan Tongs new book “The Sword for the End Times (I): Dividing Truths in Daniel & Revelation”
Hello, friend from [mmjs-countryname]! Please add your comment using the form below.