God is concerned for the well-being of the individual, as well as for nations, for in Him we live and move and have our being. The bible shows us time and time again the history of the journey of the Israelites, as they came to know the one true God and declared, “The Lord, He is God”, but then they wandered away from Him, fulfilling their own desires and ultimately fell into idolatry. In order to draw them back to Himself, the Lord often lifted His hand of protection from the nation, at which point their enemies would overrun them. Then they would cry out to Him for deliverance. They knew who to go to in their hour of need.
Nebuchadnezzar, on the other hand, was a pagan king. He did not know the Lord, but everything God did in this man`s life, He did for his redemption.
In the book of Daniel, Chapter 1, God brought three God-fearing men into the palace. In Chapter 2, God shakes up the king with a dream, but when the secret of the dream is imparted only to Daniel, the king’s attention is captured and, as he begins to look in the direction of Daniel’s God, he makes his first declaration that, “Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of Gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets” (Daniel 2:47).
In Daniel, Chapter 3, the king watched in astonishment as the three Hebrews he threw into the fiery furnace were miraculously delivered and he declares, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? Lo I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God”.
In Chapter 4, God shakes the king up with yet another dream, but this time it’s a warning of what will happen to him until he knows that, “The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will”.
The God of the Hebrews was interested in saving this pagan king, so He pursued him. The king saw the patient and long-suffering God who did not want to give up on him, even giving him a further twelve months to repent and avert punishment, if only he would turn from his pride (verse 29).
Help came when he lifted his eyes towards heaven and his understanding returned to him and he blessed the Most High (verse 34).
Today, just as God was interested in Nebuchadnezzar to encourage him to look towards the living God, He is interested in you wherever you are, and whatever your situation, to look and live. If only men would turn aside and look, as Moses did at the burning bush, they would have a life-changing encounter with the living God. Try it! He is nearer than you think.
Prayer: Heavenly Father thank You for pursuing us, for there is life in looking at Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and thank You for Your promise of protection under the shadow of Your wings. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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