Thank You for Telling Me About God. Now Leave Me Alone To Worship My Idols.

I was reading in Daniel this morning when I saw something I had never seen before (don’t you love how the Holy Spirit does that!), and I couldn’t read any further. After Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2), in which a rock (Christ) destroys the Babylonian empire and all empires that followed, an amazing thing happens. In the very next verse (3:1), Nebuchadnezzar crafts a golden idol of himself for all to worship. The very next verse! In other words, immediately after declaring to 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” (2:47), Nebuchadnezzar rushes out to fashion an idol of himself.

This becomes a pattern in Nebuchadnezzar’s life. After being warned of impending judgment by Daniel in chapter 4 for his pride and self-sufficiency, Nebuchadnezzar has the gall to look over Babylon and praise himself for what he had “built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty” (4:30).

How like Nebuchadnezzar I am! In the same day that I am overwhelmed by the greatness and worthiness of God, I can turn and pride myself in some achievement, glory in my own greatness, or bow before the idol of my desires. I am really no better then Nebuchadnezzar, because like him, I am human and depraved. Like him, I can hear the truth, stand in awe of it, praise God for it, and walk away and seek my own glory.

This is nothing more than my proclivity for making myself and my desires idols to be worshipped. Thank you very much for the truth, God, now leave me alone so I can worship myself. More and more I see this tendency as the foundational problem in my struggle with sin. And discovering this has been the path to freedom, for if I can identify the root of my sin, I can kill the fruit by hacking at the root. The grace of God in forgiveness and empowerment means that I CAN see this idolatry dislodged from my heart.

Let’s keep hacking at the root idolatries in our lives until Jesus comes!

About Mark Farnham
Associate Professor and Coordinator of Pastoral and Pre-Seminary Majors at Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster, PA. Founder and Director, Apologetics for the Church (apologeticsforthechurch.org). PhD in Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia; ThM in New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

4 Responses to Thank You for Telling Me About God. Now Leave Me Alone To Worship My Idols.

  1. jeffwahlberg says:

    Thanks for the challenging thought this morning!

  2. David Fish says:

    Good thoughts.

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for this devotion.
    On a tangent note, what are you doing your dissertation specifically for your PhD in apologetics?

  4. Andy says:

    Since you are a student of theology and apologetics
    i will ask you a provocative question:

    Are you sure the in-famous image was a
    representation of Nabuchadrezzar himself ?

    If it was so why THE LORD didn’t humble the king immediately
    for his pride as HE did afterward when the king exalted himself
    watching babylon from the roof of his palace ?

    Why Daniel was not present or even required to bow down too ?

    The image width to height ratio is not compatible with a human figure
    even with a high pedestal

    I dare to say that there is too much “tradition” in biblical thelogy

    Lets suppose that we are thelogically wrong and that image
    represented something else ….

    We don’t know for sure because it is not written to whom was to
    be “dedicated” the image, the dedication was not stated expressly

    Let me know

    Andy

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