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“Be careful what you wish for!”
Perhaps that is what someone should have said to Nebuchadnezzar when he was pining to know his dream (Dan. 2:1-6). It probably would not have helped. Nebuchadnezzar was not a person to take “no” for an answer. He was convinced that his dream had an important message, and he was determined to know it. He told his counselors that unless they deliver the goods, “you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins” (Dan. 2:5). That’s how autocrats talk. Nebuchadnezzar was an autocrat who could operate without constitutional constraints.
Wish - God - Dream - Daniel - Daniel
His wish was fulfilled. God revealed the dream to Daniel, and Daniel revealed the dream and its interpretation to the king (Dan. 2:19, 30-45). The result was salutary. The Bible says that the king “fell on his face, worshiped Daniel, and commanded that a grain offering and incense be offered to him” (Dan. 2:46). He exclaimed that Daniel’s God “is God of gods and Lord of Kings and a revealer of mysteries” (Dan. 2:47). A promotion to higher office followed. The king “promoted Daniel . . . and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon” (Dan. 2:48).
What happens next can be called a severe case of buyer’s remorse on the part of the king. We cannot dissociate it from the dream. Nebuchadnezzar made a statue—as in the dream. But his statue is different. It is “a statue of gold” from head to toe (Dan. 3:1). It is not rocket science to understand the difference. Instead of succession of empires there will be only one: Nebuchadnezzar’s empire. Instead of transience, he seeks permanence. Instead of fleeting greatness, he aspires to greatness that will last. And—in the last analysis—instead of mortality he wants immortality.
Nebuchadnezzar - Statue - Representation
Nebuchadnezzar’s statue is a competing representation to the...
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