Different people have different reactions to the Truth, when understood. Some vigorously distance themselves from the Truth even when they know it’s the Truth. Others surrender totally to the Truth, whilst many react as if there is surrender to the Truth but it is not a heart surrender … all it is, is submission to see which way it will benefit me personally.
Da 2:46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him.
This is a difficult verse because the words “fell prostrate” (“bow” in older translations), could have a variety of meanings, not necessary one of worship. Personally I believe “fell prostrate” relates to honoring Daniel because Daniel represented the God of gods and the Lord of kings as the king acknowledges in verse 47.
1) Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges Daniel’s God … not as the True God, nor as the only God but as the highest ranking god amongst the pantheon of gods the pagan religions believed in.
Da 2:47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”
There was no “heart” understanding. There was no salvation yet. See his words … “your God”, that is Daniel’s God is the God of gods. He is saying Daniel’s god is the greatest of the gods because Daniel’s god is able to reveal “this mystery” … the dream and its meaning. In that world, much like in many parts of ours, polytheistic religion was the order of the day such as … Hinduism, Shintoism, ttelema (an esoteric and occult social or spiritual philosophy and religious movement developed in the early 1900s by Aleister Crowley), Wicca, druidism, Taoism, Asatru (a revival of Germanic paganism started in the early 1970s) and Candomble (an African-Brazilian religion mixing African Traditional Religion, Roman Catholicism and Brazilian Traditional Religion). During Daniel’s time and thereafter, a pantheon of gods was a particular set of gods from any polytheistic religion, mythology or tradition. A classical one was 12 deities often known as the “Twelve Olympians”. In Greek religion and mythology, the twelve were Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Hermes, and either Hestia or Dionysus. Nebuchadnezzar puts Daniel’s God at the top of these so called twelve gods (your God is the God of gods), even saying He is the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries. This might sound very impressive but all he is doing is adding Daniel’s God to the other gods believed in. A friend of mine was converted out of Hinduism into Christianity. He used to say that for a Hindu to accept Jesus as god was not a problem. All he would do is add Jesus to the other million gods believed in. Stop and ask yourself … do a spiritual stock take … “Is the God I worship the true living God and not some man made deity?” Jeremiah says of the God of the Bible …
Jer 10:10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King.
The apostle John says
Jn 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent
whilst Paul writes
1 Th 1:9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
2) Nebuchadnezzar honors Daniel in practical ways.
Da 2:48 Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him.
He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. This action was customary. Having being helped so much, the king blessed Daniel, because of Daniel’s God by promoting him to …
(a) The supreme ruler over the Province of Babylon. He is the Chief Overseer. He was trained and prepared for political leadership. He enjoyed a degree from the University of Babylon. We have already seen how the king saw Daniel as head and shoulders above the others in his class.
(b) The overseer and controller of the ‘wise men’. You have heard the term “fancy footwork” … Daniel needed to do this because as a man of the True God, he needed to avoid the occult completely. He needed to keep clear of all divination by sorcery or astrology as well as performing heathen rites. Daniel would have been very aware of Scriptures like
Lev 19:26 Do not practice divination or sorcery.
The New Testament shapes it differently to includes more than the practice, people, business too
2Co 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” God’s moral and ethical as well as religious requirements for His people never changes.
3) Nebuchadnezzar readily agreed to Daniel’s request for his three friends.
Da 2:49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.
I am certain you have seen our main theme “Dare to be Daniel” running through the chapter … but remember that Daniel’s God is behind him, guiding and directing affairs because God will achieve His desired outcome. The right men in the right place … God’s men filling strategic posts. Note that Daniel’s promotion together with his three friends being placed in key positions are not overlooked by those who were enemies of the True God. Like today, they will wait for an opportunity to rectify what they have lost to Daniel and his friends. God is sovereign. He orders and arranges events to His advantage.
(1) The king’s actions benefitted Daniel. He was God’s man for the task at hand.
(2) In turn, the king’s actions benefitted the Kingdom of God. Remember Judah were in exile. No temple, no sacrificial system amounting to no religion … but God is at work to remedy the problem.
(3) The king’s actions benefitted Babylon because having God’s man as Chief Overseer mean godly wisdom in political management.
(4) Yet at this point there was no immediate benefit to the king. O God, You are all wise and all knowing.
Grant me grace to submit to You. Amen.