we are assuming that Nebuchadnezzar (we’re calling him Neb) truly
believes in whatever entity he has created an idol to. Now he wants
others to worship this being as well.
His words tell us something about his beliefs.
1) If the being truly deserved to be worshipped, would Neb have needed to issue a command, forcing his subjects to worship it?
contrast, consider another biblical account that may be familiar, where
worship takes place. When Moses is leading the Hebrews out of Egypt,
they reach the Red Sea, and it appears that they are trapped (see
Exodus chapters 14 and 15). The army of Pharaoh has been pursuing them,
and the Hebrews don’t have any flotation devices handy.
miraculously delivers them, and also destroys their pursuers. He sends
a strong wind that opens a pathway across the sea, giving the Hebrews
safe passage across, and then just in time, the wind stops, the sea
resumes flowing, and the Egyptian army is wiped out completely.
at the beginning of chapter 15, Moses doesn’t say "OK, children of
Israel – time to worship. Do it now or I will make you wish you did".
No, verse one says that Moses and the children of Israel broke out in
song, worshiping God, praising Him for His protection, and
acknowledging His power. Mind you, these are not terribly spiritual
people. It doesn’t take them long to begin whining and complaining
again. But when they did see God at work, the worship came naturally
and sincerely. Verse 14:31 tells us "Israel saw the great power that
the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and
they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses" (ESV).
on the other hand, had to coerce his subjects into worshiping. This
implies that he didn’t really consider his god to be too worthy of
What else does it tell us about Neb’s beliefs? Next time…