"People of all races, nations and languages - listen to the King's demands. When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar's gold statue. Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace." Daniel 3:5-6
Yes. The King of Babylon was a prideful man who built himself a statue of gold that stood 9 feet wide and 90 feet tall. He demanded that everyone bow down and worship him when the sound of music entered their heads. And if they didn't, they would be thrown into the fiery furnace.
But, let us not forget. This is only an earthly foreshadowing of what is to come.
Revelation 13 says there are two beasts that are coming, one from the sea and one from the earth, and both will bring division to men. The first beast will rise from the sea, and will tout seven horns of blasphemy. The dragon will give him his power, throne and great authority.
It will appear that one of seven heads is wounded, but then, everyone will watch the head be healed. The whole world will marvel, and everyone will pledge allegiance to the beast of the sea. The beast of the sea will be allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. He will have full authority for 42 months, and be allowed to wage war against God's holy people. All the people OF THE WORLD will worship the beast of the sea. But, there will be an eternal cost for their decision.
"They are the ones whose names were NOT written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered BEFORE the world was made." Revelation 13:8 "This means that God's holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful." Revelation 13:10
The second beast that will rise up from the earth will be even worse than the first. He is the dragon who directly opposes God. He has two horns that look like a lamb, but speaks with the voice of a dragon. He exercises all authority over the beast of the sea. He astounds with all kinds of miracles, and loves to be the center of attention. He will order a statue be made of the Beast of the Sea who speaks seven blasphemies against God. "There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers."
Church - do we already see this? Has the deception already began? Revelation 13:15-17 says, "He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak, and command everyone be given the mark of the beast on the right hand or on the forehead."
"Without the mark, no one could buy or sell."
"The mark of the beast is either the name of the beast or the number representing him."
Could it be that 666 is the name of a man who has been totally blasphemous against God? Could it be that God has totally abandoned him? Does it mean there is no heaven for him? And what about the mark required to buy and sell? Is that dependent on our currency to live? Will we put money above all else? Will we serve money instead of God? Will greed and submission be grabbed by our hand? Will we place a chip into our forehead? So many questions are coming up for me. I will continue to ask God for wisdom in this.
But my love - do not despair! Babylon is fallen! And while she made all the nations of the world drink the wine of immorality, she has NOT won! Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts the mark of the beast on the hand or the forehead will drink from the wine of God's anger. Revelation 14:9-10
Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues, which would bring God's wrath to completion. I saw before me what seemed to be a glass sea mixed with fire. And on it stood all the people who had been victorious over the beast and his statue and the number representing his name. They were holding harps that God had given them. And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
"Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways O King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed." Revelation 15:1-4
It astounds me how good our God is. He gives us a taste of the pride of Babylon through the prophet Daniel. He showed us the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, and how the ROCK cut from the mountain made it coming tumbling down. Then he showed us how faithful men are saved by Him.
King Nebuchadnezzar said, "I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue that I have made when you hear the sound of the instrument. But if you refuse, you will be immediately thrown into the blazing furnace."
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said, "We do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. But even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up."
Then Daniel 3 says that the king threw them into the fire that heated up to be seven times hotter. He ordered some of his strongest men to bind them and throw them in with their clothes and their turbans. But suddenly, the king jumped with amazement and said, "Didn't we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?" "Look! I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!"
Nebuchadnezzar came close to the door of the furnace and shouted, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come out!" And when the men came out, "not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn't even smell of smoke!" Daniel 3:27
Even this king finally knew what was true. He said, "If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of hadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they will be born torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!" Daniel 3:29
God is good! Let's each pick up our harps and play for him.