Daniel 3:1-6. Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the herald loudly proclaimed: “To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language, that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”
Nebuchadnezzar had it all. He was the ruler of the most powerful kingdom, probably in the entire history of the world. He was rich beyond measure. He had hundreds, if not thousands of wives and concubines. So why did he do this statue thing, ordering everyone to bow down to him? What was the motivation for doing such a thing? There appears to be in people this desire to be a god.
In the book entitled ”Unbroken” and the movie that followed the story is told of Louis Zamperini, a World War II Bombardier who was shot down, survived 47 days in a rubber raft and then became a prisoner of war in Japan. Louie had a supervisor in the camp, he was imprisoned in obsessed with getting Louie to cower before him. The bulk of the book and the movie are about this confrontation of wills, and as the title suggests, Louie was unbroken though he was tortured terribly for several years. So, the same question comes to mind, why would someone inflict such horrible cruelty simply to dominate another human being.
It goes back to the beginning in the Garden of Eden when the devil tempted Adam and Eve. He said to them ”if you eat this fruit you will be like God, ” so they ate it, and people have been trying to be like a god ever since by bossing other people around and telling them what to do.
In a couple of weeks we will celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday based on the Pilgrims celebration of thanks in 1621. They came to America on the Mayflower to escape the tyranny of England where rulers were telling them how they were to worship. The United States of America is a country that had it’s beginning as a place of freedom. Our National Anthem says, ”the home of the free and the land of the brave.”