Sixty—Cubits High

Nebuchadnezzar’s sixty-cubit-high statue of himself must have been absolutely impressive. The Babylonian king’s display of power and wealth was designed to engender overwhelming awe and fear. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to play along. Bow down they would not! Many would reason: ‘It wasn’t a big deal. Surely, it was just a statue. This event would pass from their lives as quickly as it came.’ Such was the faith of the 3 Hebrew slaves (albeit high bureaucrat leaders) that they chose certain death over having ‘any other god before YHWH.’ Their response to Nebuchadnezzar’s threat was: “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18). They worshiped their ever-present God who is never to be displayed by any man-made image. The religious world is full of idols. Statues, paintings, crosses, ecclesiastical clothing, ‘sanctified’ church buildings and ancient ‘sacred’ artifacts…to name but a few. As a Catholic child I was taught to genuflect to a cross before I sat in the pew, and that my prayers were better said to the statue of Mary, because of her motherly influence over Jesus. The priest, nuns, church and traditions were ‘holy,’ and that was that! I had no trouble turning my back on it all. Over the years I have been surprised that some of my brethren see nothing wrong with adding religious symbols. Steeples, stained glass windows, crosses, candles, throne-type chairs, the national flag…etc…are too often seen these days. I try not to make a big deal out of it, but it is obvious that these ‘once rejected man-made idols,’ have become mainstream. I know what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would be thinking.


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