Daniel 3:4-6: “A herald then proclaimed in a loud voice: “Attention, everyone! Every race, color, and creed, listen! When you hear the band strike up—all the trumpets and trombones, the tubas and baritones, the drums and cymbals—fall to your knees and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Anyone who does not kneel and worship shall be thrown immediately into a roaring furnace.”
7 The band started to play, a huge band equipped with all the musical instruments of Babylon, and everyone—every race, color, and creed—fell to their knees and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.”
King Nebuchadnezzar builds a statue and it’s huge. Then he sends out a message that everyone- has to come and worship said statue, this thing he has created or they will be killed. This is extreme for us to hear today but that wouldn’t have been uncommon in that time for a king to make a blatant command and expect everyone to follow under penalty of death. You must worship they way I say (this statue) and every time I say (when the music starts). Not only is this attitude of heart very controlling, it’s a way to gain power of people for his own purposes. In this way King Nebuchadnezzar feels esteemed, or at least feared. Lets look at how we do that. Maybe not in this same way but in other ways. Consider for a moment the people in your world who don’t esteem you in the way you think they should and when they don’t, we burn them.
Just like King Nebuchadnezzar we make people pay, we punish people, threaten them in our own ways. We burn them.
I was in California doing a training a few weeks ago and someone who is a friend of mine and who was on the volunteer team said to me, “I didn’t experience you as loving as last time I was with you.” At first I was thinking “hey, yes I was” and in my mind I immediately went to all the ways I was totally as loving and even more. Then I moved to why her opinion wasn’t as important as the actual participants in the training. I even for a moment went to a space in my mind that sounded like well I guess we wont be as close of friends anymore! Mind you this happened in a few short moments that my mind went there. Then my brain returned to my body and I shifted to curiosity and began to explore her perspective but for a few minutes in my mind she was not esteeming me properly and was about to get burned.
I say all of us have a view of ourselves we prefer. Something we say is us. I am this kind of person- a loving person, or a good person or however else you might think of yourself that at times can be self-flattering. When other people come along and say well I don’t see you as loving in this moment or I see you being more distant in this moment, consider how often you burn them or discount their view because it differs from your own view of yourself?