11/30/13: Three Times’s a Charm
I’ve head it said that there’s something sort of special about experiencing something the third time. For some reason, on that third time around, we finally “get it.” Well, such was certainly the case with King Nebuchadnezzar, the monarch of Babylon who captured and subjugated the children of Israel who were, at the time, under the reign of Jehoiakim of Judah. King Nebuchadnezzar started out with the bright idea of gathering the best and the brightest young men of the captives of Judah, training them in the language and literature of his culture, and then placing them in leadership positions. This would hopefully make the rest of the captives see what a good idea it was to be subject to him. Little did he know that God was setting him up to realize that he was subject to God.
Four of the young men the king chose were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—the latter three better known to us as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the names given to them by their captors. These four fellows were fine with learning the Chaldean language and literature, but they blatantly refused to worship the Chaldean gods. This proved a stumbling block for King Nebuchadnezzar three times until God finally got through to him.
The first problem happened when the king had a troubling dream. He required his sorcerers and magicians to tell him both the dream and the interpretation so he’d know they were really true diviners. Of course, none of his guys could do it, so he decided to have them all killed. But up stepped Daniel. Daniel interpreted the king’s dream but gave all the kudos to God as the One who had revealed the interpretation to him. The king responded, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret” Daniel 2:47 (NKJ). Notice that the king referred to God as “your God.” He recognized God as the revealer of secrets.
The second problem happened when the king made a huge image of gold that he decreed for everyone to bow down to. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship the idol because of their vow to continue worshiping God. King Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into the fiery furnace and arrogantly stated, “And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?” Daniel 3:15 (NKJ). Well, when God did deliver them from the fire, Nebuchadnezzar again changed his tune and pronounced, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him… because there is no other God who can deliver like this” Daniel 3:28-29 (NKJ). Notice that the king referred to God as “the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.” He recognized God as the deliverer from fire.
The third problem happened regarding an interpretation of another dream. This time the dream predicted that he would be driven from his throne and stalk around like a wild animal for seven years until he acknowledged who God was for himself. Indeed, that prophetic dream came to pass. When the seven years ended, the king declared “And at the end of thetime I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever… Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” Daniel 3:34 and 37 (NKJ). Notice that finally the king acknowledged who God was for himself. Three times’s a charm.
What is your relationship with God? Is He merely a mover and a shaker for somebody else? Do you see Him as the One who moves for others but not for you? He’s much more than a revealer of secrets and a deliverer from fire for others. God is to be praised and honored by you personally simply for who He is. As King Nebuchadnezzar learned, God’s “works are truth and His ways justice.” How many times will it take for Him to show you who He is before you “get it”?
©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
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Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
Also still available:
Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
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