Daniel 2:36-45--The dream's meaning
For some reason, I find it hard to find the meaning of the dream that worrisome. The thought of four different kings to come doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but I think that's because I'm out of touch with what it's like to be a dictator, maybe. I mean, we're used to frequent changes of heads of state in our country, of course...
Anyway, it probably didn't sound good to Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel 2:46-48--Nebuchadnezzar honors Daniel
So, Nebuchadnezzar doesn't seem all that upset by Daniel's interpretation. He just gives Daniel stuff and honors him. Weird. That dude is goofy.
Daniel 3:1-7--Gold statue
Nebuchadnezzar is not very smart, or not a good listener, or both. Daniel tells him God will destroy all these rulers, but Nebuchadnezzar just goes and builds a big gold statue of himself. And then all the people just bow down to the statue, like they're cool with whatever. I guess they felt coerced, or they were just mindless followers. This is the problem with despotic rulers and religion! (OK, there are lots of problems with despotic rulers and religion--Nebuchadnezzar embodies most of them!)
Daniel 3:8-18--Plot against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
I have to admit, it's really difficult for me to read this story without thinking about the Veggie Tales version of it.
Anyway, jealous people tell on these three fellas, and Nebuchadnezzar gets really angry, which is not at all surprising. They say they will never bow down to his statue, even if he will kill them for it. So...
Daniel 3:19-27--Inside the furnace
I had forgotten the detail that Nebuchadnezzar's own men die when they put the three other men into the furnace, because of how hot Nebuchadnezzar wants it to be. What an idiot this king is! Of course, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego aren't harmed at all.
Daniel 3:28-30--Nebuchadnezzar praises God
And then Nebuchadnezzar praises God because he realizes that this God could save the three men...and he threatens everyone who doesn't worship his new God. Talk about someone with control issues!! I just can't wait to see what he'll do next...