The Height of Arrogance
Tuesday - June 22nd
Scripture to Read Today: Daniel 3:1-13
God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.
In the 6th century B.C., the most powerful man in the world was Nebuchadnezzar, the emperor of Babylon. He dominated the world as it was known at that time. He was full of himself. Arrogant, proud, selfish, boastful all fail to describe this wicked and narcissistic man adequately. Few rulers in world history demonstrated the kind of hubris displayed in Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel chapter three tells the story of the emperor establishing a massive golden statue before which he expects his subjects to bow. He expects little to no resistance but has prepared a hot fiery furnace into which he will cast all who refuse to bow. Those gathered in Babylon at Nebuchadnezzar's request are told to bow as music plays. While it is unclear why Daniel was not present, his three Hebrew friends were. They remained standing, refusing to bow or even bend.
The emperor becomes enraged. Even in his anger, he gives the three men, Shadrack, Meshak, and Abednego, another chance. He repeats the instructions (after all, they may have missed them) and has the music play again. The result was the same. Everyone bowed except the three Jewish men. They simply stand.
Nebuchadnezzar has them bound and thrown into the hot furnace. He wants all of his subjects to have the image etched deep in their minds. Defy the emperor, and you too will succumb to such a fate.
As we know, the men are thrown into the fire. But, God rescues them. The king is humbled. He blessed the God of Shadrack, Meshak, and Abednego. He calls on the whole country to turn to their God.
Remember, the Scriptures say, "God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble" (James 4:6). Arrogance and hubris cultivate a rot within our hearts and minds. Its stench wafts into the lives of others. It often turns others away from us. Sadly, even our closest family and dearest friends struggle with arrogance from someone they love so much.
Look at your own life. Are there pockets in your heart where you want others to notice you, your accomplishments, and value you above others? Ask God to show you places in your heart and mind where arrogance or selfishness has been allowed to grow. Confess any attitudes or behaviors the Lord reveals to you that demonstrate pride.
God resists those who cultivate arrogance. But, he shows grace and kindness to the humble of heart!