Daniel 3-4

Read Daniel 3-4.

Groundhog Day–the holiday took place about three weeks ago, but the movie, was released almost three decades ago. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a film that tells the story of a TV weatherman who finds himself reliving the same day again and again and again. He’s stuck in a cycle that just keeps repeating, which is kind of where we find Daniel and his friends.

No, this isn’t the same devotional you read yesterday, but there’s a lot that seems to repeat itself. When we left them yesterday, Daniel and his friends had found favor with the king due to their their steady faith in God. Nebuchadnezzar would declare God to be “God of gods and Lord of kings.” And that’s what makes Daniel 3 a bit baffling. How do you follow a confession like that? Apparently by building a gold statue ninety feet tall and commanding everyone to bow before it to worship it. Of course, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego defied the king’s orders, trusting God to save them from the burning fiery furnace (which he did). The result? Nebuchadnezzar praises God and promotes those he was just persecuting.

How many times would the king of Babylon learn the same lesson about God? Well, he had another dream, so let’s find out. Who would be the king’s first call to interpret his dream? We’re not told the name of that person, but we are told that Daniel was the last to come before the king. Once again, Daniel heard the dream and interpreted it, calling on the king to break off his sins and to show mercy to the oppressed, but Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t one to take the easy path. Instead of humbling himself before God, the king declared his own power, glory, and majesty. The result? He was utterly humiliated before he finally looked to heaven and honored God as he deserves.

Pride has a way of obscuring the lessons of the past. Whether it’s the painful parts of history or our own personal experiences, our pride can look a lot like Nebuchadnezzar, dooming us to repeat the same mistakes and learn the same lessons again and again and again. Maybe you’re walking the faithful path of Daniel and his friends, but if you find yourself in the cycle of pride, lift your eyes to heaven that your reason would return to you–live your life to honor the One who lives forever.

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