I have recently been studying the book of Daniel and am truly amazed by his love for and faith in God. The scriptures refer to him as beloved and faithful on multiple occasions, traits anybody would strive for. Daniel aside, I was intrigued by the story of king Nebuchadnezzar. How could someone witness such incredible miracles done by the hand of God and not surrender to Him on the spot? I just cannot wrap my head around that. Yet this very thing continues to happen time and time again, both in scripture and in modern times.
For the first time I recognized what happened when king Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged God for what He had done and who He was to others, compared to when he personally connected with God and surrendered to Him. You see, being amazed by God’s mighty works is not the same as being truly captivated by His grace and mercy, surrendering all to serve Him.
After God revealed king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation to Daniel he brought it before the king, giving God all the credit and taking none for himself. The king responded by falling on his face before Daniel acknowledging that Daniel’s God was the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and revealer of secrets (Daniel 2:46). It might appear at first that the king had a bit of a heart change, but the following chapters reveal that this wasn’t so. Despite recognizing what God had done and who He was Nebuchadnezzar did not change at all.
In the very next story, one of the most well known in the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar sets up a golden image and commands everyone to bow down to it. After Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego refuse and God delivers them from the fiery furnace, it appears once more that the king has a change of heart. But once again, no real change has taken place, despite the incredible miracle God had performed right in front of him. Nebuchadnezzar blesses the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, ordering that all people should worship this God Daniel 3:28-29 , yet continues to refer to God, not as his own, but as the God of another.
Underneath the façade, Nebuchadnezzar praises and worships himself, believing that he is in total control of his own life and destiny. God has to bring him low, removing him from the pedestal of pride he created for himself. It is only after years of suffering and humility that Nebuchadnezzar personally recognizes God as his own. He states, “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 4:37). He finally had a personal experience with God and surrendered.
In order for real life change to take place God has to become real to you, as evidenced by what you say and how you live your life. You don’t have to wait for God to bring you low before you fall on your face to worship Him. You can make the choice today to experience God for yourself and surrender your life to Him.
Pray that God will open your eyes to His truth and love and then take a look around. In this new light you will see His beauty surrounding you and will be amazed by the love and forgiveness He offers you through His son Jesus Christ.