Chapter 1 & 2 describes Nebuchadnezzar as a prideful war lord, that had to fight his way to power because no one took him seriously prior to his violent decree upon all flesh which did not obey the commandment of his mouth. These go into his conquests leading up to the main story. In Chapter 3, we are told that Nebuchadnezzar sought to be elevated to the status of god over the land, and his footmen destroyed the gods of the land to see this come to fruition.
Throughout these chapters, Nebuchadnezzar’s speech certainly sounds as though he’s trying to speak in similar words as God has throughout the Bible. It’s very clear that the author of this book wants to make certain we know just how arrogant Nebuchadnezzar was.
In Chapter 4, we see the people of Judea and Jerusalem come together in order to ask for God’s protection. They put on sackcloth, throw ashes over their heads, get their servants to join in, fast, sacrifice and pray. This event illustrates a beautiful understanding of what can happen when a large religious community comes together under the banner of a singular belief system.
We actually see this a few times throughout the Old Testament. There are times I read of these kinds of events, and I wonder what it would be like if all of Christendom came together to do this- regardless of our denominations. We have such diverse ideas within the various sects that we’re rarely ever on the same page. During all of this COVID stuff, I’ve seen people individual churches call for prayer, some denominations doing so- but then even their entire congregation seems to push it to the side.
Sometimes I wonder if the people in the Old Testament were the same way. It says “all of Israel/Judea/Jerusalem”, but really I wonder how many actually engaged in it. How many people hid out thinking it was just a show and nothing really came from doing these things.
Still, it would be nice to have someone so revered within the Christian Community that Catholics and Protestants alike would feel compelled to join together as one voice and ask God for the miracle we so desperately need. Could you imagine Christians across the world coming together within the same 24hrs, at every corner of the planet, in prayer for God’s aide on a singular problem we can all agree needs God’s miracle?
I think the Bible makes it clear that when it’s something that impacts the whole community, then more than a singular church within the community needs to be involved in the intercession. Even a Prophet could only intercede so much to ask God’s hand be stayed.