Daniel 3:1-7 “1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 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. 3 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. 4 And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5 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. 6 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” 7 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” (KJV).
At the end of chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar was so impressed with Daniel’s interpretation of his dream, that he tells Daniel “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery” (Dan. 2:47, KJV). Chapter 3 begins with Nebuchadnezzar having a large idol built. This idol was about 90 ft. tall and 9 ft. wide; covered in gold, portraying himself as a god.
I have to wonder how this king could believe in the Lord Almighty, yet turn around and build a huge gold covered statue. He also commanded everyone to worship this idol every time the music played. The king sent official messengers to surrounding towns of his empire, commanding the officials to gather everyone for the dedication of the great golden image. This was more than a simple political gathering or assembly, this was a religious service; a religious service that the king used to gather and control the people. He required everyone to submit and worship to his authority.
What would cause a man to desire so much power? Pride has a way of controlling our desires and actions. What happens when we allow any form of pride to take over in our hearts? The first thing I thought of was 1 John 2:16 – “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world”. Pride allows us to believe that we are in control and that we don’t need God. When our faith and dependence fall on the ways of the world instead of God, we are placing ourselves in a dangerous situation. Scripture has many warnings about pride…
Proverbs 16:5 “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished”.
Proverbs 29:23 “A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit”.
Galatians 6:3 “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself”. Proverbs 11:2 “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (KJV).
In order to fight against pride and guard the heart, we must accept a level of humility that portrays the same humility our Savior displays. I have always like the saying “it’s hard to be humble”. One reason this phrase is a favorite of mine is that it really is “hard to be humble”. We may say to ourselves, “I’m a humble person”, but if you really think about it, the answer to that question may surprise you. Are we really doing all we can for others, have we taken time out of our busy schedule to pray, study, and read our Bible? Have we given enough time to listen to our family or children? Have we placed anything above our Lord today?
Pride may not be something we view as a problem. Nebuchadnezzar was blessed to have his dreams interpreted, so blessed that he gave glory to the Lord, yet he turned around and let pride take over. Pride begins inside the heart, thinking that we are better or more deserving than others. The “infection of pride” begins internally, but it does not take long for the symptoms to begin to show externally.
Here’s an example that I see every year during the holiday season. I am standing in a long check-out line at the store. People in line are getting frustrated because it is taking longer than they think it should. Then, the cashier runs into a problem, they need to do a price check, or the person checking out is having trouble swiping their card. The people in line are beginning to get angry, spitting their evil venom and hurtful words. How do you react? Does pride take over and you begin to join in with the others? Or, do you smile and share the humility of Christ. That cashier might be working a long shift because another co-worker called in sick. They may have had a really difficult day, something tragic may have occurred.
The Silent Preacher