I’ve finished Ezekiel
, and now am in Daniel
Let me just share with you a small part of what I learned from the end of Ezekiel. Ezekiel is taken to see the new temple, and shown around by a man (40:3). This is another one of those parts of the Bible that is extremely descriptive about how the temple is designed. Now, through reading the Old Testament, I’ve had to force myself to read every word (KJV no less) of these descriptions. To not skip any of it. It can be repetitive, but I’m glad I did it. Because in Ezekiel, it kinda came to me. This shows me how God is PARTICULAR (and I’m sure I’ve read this concept somewhere). His plans for His temple were particular. His plans for His kingdom are particular. And His plans for me are particular. He is perfectly particular. Everything has it’s place, it’s purpose – it’s truly amazing.
Now on to Daniel and “jumping through hoops.” King Nebuchadnezzar had a golden idol constructed, and said that if anyone refused to bow to it, they would be killed. But note the instruction:
Daniel 3:4-7 (KJV)
4Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,
5That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
6And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
7Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
These instructions are repeated three times in this chapter. Once to show how it was to be done (any time you hear those instruments!), then to show that people did it, and the third time to describe how a few refused to do it:
Daniel 3:14-18 (KJV)
14Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
15Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Whew! After reading about how the people were to bow to this idol – I thought – does this mean that ANYTIME they heard the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and ALL KINDS of musick – they were to bow to this 90 foot tall golden statue??? Talk about jumping through hoops to appease a god! But then I thought, isn’t this true of all idoltry? That when we worship things other than God, we usually have to go to a lot of trouble to even TRY to gain any pleasure – or any pleasure gained usually leads to trouble. And the sad fact is that it’s all folly – which leads to exclusion from God – if one does not repent and believe.
They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
So, in conclusion, I want to understand how God is particular with my life – and not waste my time on any false thing – because to do so is, in reality, forsaking the mercy that God so generously gives to me. I pray for the grace to do so.