The Name of My God

Today's devotion from Daniel 4. Daniel 4 is interesting because it contains the interpretation and fulfillment of a dream as told from the perspective of a pagan king. Nebuchadnezzar heaps praise upon Daniel and gives much glory to God. He recognizes that God is, "the Most High and Honored" and "him who lives forever." (Daniel 4:34, CSB)

He speaks of God's everlasting and expansive dominion. He attributes to God the greatness of One whom, when compared, towers above the inhabitants of the earth who, "are counted as nothing." He notes that none can question or stand against the one he calls, "the King of the heavens." And still, Nebuchadnezzar refuses to name the God of Daniel as his own Lord. Instead, we read that Daniel's Babylonian name was, "after the name of my god." (Daniel 4:8, CSB)

We've already seen in the book of Daniel that Nebuchadnezzar is not properly applying all evidence of God's greatness to his own personal life. He knows that God is great, but refuses to see Him as anything more than a great god among many great gods in the Babylonian pantheon. While this is truly disheartening, it happens even today.

Once I spoke with a missionary who told of great difficulty because the people he served had taken parts of Catholicism, mixed in some broader Christianity, and simply added that to their own animistic worship. They, in essence, added God to the list of gods they already worshipped.

However, what I would have you see is that this is the end of all things. We are told in both Isaiah and Romans that a time will come when every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I think it is particularly fitting of a king who feels warranted in addressing, "those of every people, nation, and language, who live on the whole earth." (Daniel 4:1, CSB)

What I find truly ironic is that Nebuchadnezzar stops short of naming God as his own God, but acknowledges that he must do as God demands. This king gets it in this regard. He knows that he can refuse to worship God, but he cannot ultimately refuse to disobey. In other words, God is in control. No matter what is going on in your life today, you are not beyond the control of our sovereign God.