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Lesson # Dan. 3:2-3
Study Material - Dan. 3:2-3
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2 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. 3 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.
The King, the royal ruler not only over the nation of Babylon, but over the vast conquered territories that stretched throughout the region in the Middle East, west into Africa, east and north into Asia. The King, appointed to his post by God (God appoints all persons to their respective posts in life including you and me), given great authority and with it, responsibility, to provide and protect all who live under the wings of the empire. This same King who is caught in a flat plain, the plain of pressure, a plain, torn, ripped between two mountains (the mountain of human viewpoint and the mountain of divine viewpoint. A plain of indecision, of peer pressure from the inner circles of politics that traps all in power. The King falls to his own ego, his own view of self importance (as described by Daniel in the former dream - the head of gold, the greatest of all the empires to follow). The King, Nebuchadnezzar, builds a statue, an idol out of gold, and promotes it to divine status within the empire.
God appoints and dismisses people to positions of authority at His will, now being imitated by Nebuchadnezzar, in his loss of orientation to life in general, and to his own responsibilities in the position he holds. His own agenda and selfish ego being focused on at the expense of all in the kingdom. Everyone else's needs and rights thrown out of the window so that the Kings ego (via his great arrogance) can be satisfied.
Now all of the rulers, all of those in authority from throughout the entire government, throughout all of the conquered lands, are commanded under penalty of personal peril (death), to come to the dedication of this sculpture made out of gold (rather a statue probably of wood, overlaid with gold).
The Satraps - 'khshathrapavan' a Persian word meaning 'protectors of the realm' are the viceroys or vassal rulers to whom was intrusted the government of the conquered provinces in the Persian empire.
The Prefects - rulers from within Babylon, over the conquered territories.
Governors - rulers over the various provinces or states within the nation of Babylon, as well as within the various conquered territories.
Counselors - the various advisors (political, legal, military, religious and so forth) in the government. We would probably think of them as elected legislators. Of course the King appointed these folks, they were not elected.
Treasurers - obviously run the money collection and spending systems within the government and the various administrations, and bureaucracies.
And so forth down the ranks in importance but more important, all those peoples that have authority in some aspect of the functions of the empire. The magistrates, the judges, and all the rest. Every branch of government is includes. None are overlooked. All of these people, people in positions of importance, of authority, people with daily duties and responsibilities, all of them are told to drop all they have to do and come to this 'plain' , this valley of indecision, and worship a huge image of gold.
An empire spread from beyond the horizons of several continents, and in all directions, is told to shut down and fall flat faced before an idol. An idol which is stupid, ie. lacks life, lacks senses, lacks purpose. It takes stupid people to follow a stupid idea. It takes a weak and fear filed people to succumb to this command.
They were commanded to assemble, which they did. The common folk were not commanded. Perhaps this was only a god of the leadership, and not of the common folk, or perhaps there was some rationalization that one could not invite everyone to the party, or perhaps there was the attitude that if the leaders were controlled, then the general population also could be controlled. Regardless of the thought process, this was designated as the greatest empire By God, in the dream that the King just had. Despite this, the empire had very weak leadership. People ruled by fear.
How much less were the empires to follow, the Persian empire, the Greek empire, the Roman empire, the revived Roman empire. All covering massive territories and peoples and resources, but consisting of violence and fear for control.
In contrast, Gods kingdom will be ruled with justice and truth. Mans kingdom forced control from the top down and through each level of government. God invites compliance from the bottom (through each individual). Mans kingdom is restricted to those in power, in authority, in special classes of society, in the majority, to those who will comply with mans vacillating (changing) legislated rules. Gods rules have never changed and are available to all regardless of rank or status. Mans rules are prejudiced, available to only the privileged few. Gods word is available to all with equal opportunity.
In verse two, the 'word' of wickedness came from the King who was appointed to his position by God, in direct irresponsibility and rejection of the responsibilities of that position. In our Bible study the 'Word' of God comes to us in truth and in all fairness with no coercion or pressure of any kind.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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