Saturday, 21 June 2014

AN IMAGE OF GOLD



 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.  And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.  So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

 Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,  that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”

 So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.”

                                                                                                                   (Dan 3:1-7)

Events of Mass Adoration.

 Whether it be a magnificent golden image in mighty Babylon or a far more modest wooden affair in your average Israelite village (Jud 6:25-27), the basic requirements for such events are always the same.     

 Erect an image, display it in the public square and then canvass all for their opinion of the spectacle. 

 Needless to say, freedom of expression is always to be respected on such occasions.  

The happy citizenry must feel completely free both to appear before the image and to express an opinion of the marvel. Indeed they are to be required to appear before the image and to give an opinion.

 The only reasonable requirement for such occasions being that the joyful folk will have been told in advance just what that opinion is, and that they are under no circumstances whatsoever to hold any other.     

But with that small proviso, freedom of speech will be the order of the day.

With the emphasis being on Order.

 In societies past, the erection of vast golden images has not always been considered necessary for staging Events of Mass Adoration.

 In the version adopted by pagan Rome, for instance, elaborate building projects were considered best left to the conscience of the individual worshiper. A simple cry of “Kaiser Kyrios!” and a pinch of incense on the altar being deemed quite sufficient for most situations.

 Doubtless in the future new and ever more ingenious ways of expressing adoration will be devised (Rev 13:11-17).

  So it is in our day that an image has only quite recently been erected in the public square by The Powers That Be and we are now all invited to offer our opinion.

Or rather to offer their opinion.  

Church after church, denomination after denomination is being systematically  paraded before the image and adoration is being politely but firmly requested of each of them.

Mere silence is not enough. Quiet acquiescence is insufficient.

No, you must celebrate. You must adore the image.     

At the moment the penalty for non-compliance remains merely a cold stare rather than a fiery furnace, but that of course can change.   

 Wherever forces hostile to the Gospel become established in a society it is inevitable that they will very soon begin to flex their muscles by arranging these Events of Mass Adoration. 

For us the horn, flute, harp and lyre have already begun to sound.  

Each of us must therefore have determined in our hearts how we will respond, for respond we must.


...let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” (Dan 3:18)