(Today’s post by Marc Cannon)
(In Daniel 4 Daniel interprets a dream that King Nebuchadnezzar has. And in that dream the King goes insane and lives a period of time in the wilderness like an animal, even eating grass from the ground like a cow. This dream comes true. Nebuchadnezzar remains this way until he humbles himself and proclaims the God of Daniel as the one true God.)
Nebuchadnezzar: What a name! I’ve always thought it was fun to say, and yes, that makes me weird and I’m okay with that. However, Nebuchadnezzar isn’t just another funny name from the Old Testament Bible. So many of us have stopped turning to anything before Matthew; save Songs of Solomon, Psalms and Proverbs. These are the go-to OT books…One is about sex, one is about songs and the others about daily wisdom. You could probably throw in Genesis as well. It started this ball of wax rolling, so it should get credit from the New Covenant crowd.
So, what’s the deal with the Old Testament anyway? God gets angry, people die, people sacrifice and obey, turn away, rinse and repeat. Then Jesus comes into play and that changed things. So God stopped being angry, using His wrath and whatnot, right? Which begs the question, does God’s wrath still exist? That’s always a question that gets the blood of theological angst flowing, ain’t it? So what do you think, has His wrath been placed in the top drawer of His power chest?
I used to sit on the “Why do I need to heed what’s written in the Old Testament?” side. It’s SO hard to read and interpret sometimes; I know its God’s word and it’s perfect, but Jesus…But Jesus. Honestly, I still don’t like reading through the Old Testament, it’s distant, the culture is odd, the names are weird, and kings, queens, beggars, the poor, wars, blowing ram’s horns and an extreme amount of repetition exist. So what in the world is in it for me?
I am Nebuchadnezzar: I am foolish, I am selfish, I have idols other than the one true God; including myself – I am my own king, and I stand a man who has experienced God’s wrath. I fight wars, mainly with myself, and due to copious amounts of pride, I pour myself right back to the beginning; God then ultimately gives me over to my sin and prideful self, His wrath. It crushes me; I suffer through things like depression, self loathing, loneliness, bitterness, and condemnation. I am Nebuchadnezzar…
But Jesus; Jesus saves. He has given me a way to reconcile with the Father. When I bow to His sovereignty, the one true God, my salvation is secure and my pride is stricken, my sins are forgiven. The Old Testament gives us the lineage of humanity’s character and why Jesus came. Our, humanity’s, character has not changed…We are just as needing of His grace and mercy as Nebuchadnezzar; we are Nebuchadnezzar.