Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Daniel urges Nebuchadnezzar to repent so that his second dream does not come true: "Therefore, O King, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off yours sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity." (Dan. 4:27)

Interesting that Daniel doesn't point directly at Neb's arrogance and idolatry which are clearly the root issues. Instead, Daniel urges Neb to be just and merciful to the poor. Daniel knows that arrogance and idolatry go hand in hand with injustice and oppression of the poor. Nebuchadnezzar can't have it both ways. No man can serve two masters; no man can serve both God and Mammon.

The curse is also fitting: Because Neb will not treat his subjects with justice and mercy but rather treats them like beasts, Neb will become a wild beast. Because Neb will not honor the image of God in those he rules over, God will reduce Nebuchadnezzar to a sub-human state. Because Neb robs his people of the honor due fellow image-bearers, he will for a time be robbed of his image-bearing status.

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