Pagan Proclamations of God

Posted on November 13, 2020

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By David Ettinger

Rare Instances
How many world leaders today praise the God of the Bible and give Him glory? There may be a few, but if so, I have no idea who they are. However, in the Book of Daniel, there are several proclamations of God made by world leaders – and pagans at that! Let’s look and these proclamations and share in the grandeur of them!

Pagan Proclamation No. 1
In Chapter 2, the powerful King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzer, had a rather disturbing dream, one his collection of soothsayers and astronomers could neither identify nor interpret. However, there was a young Hebrew named Daniel who could do both. The dream dealt with future kingdoms as they related to Israel.

As Nebuchadnezzar listened to Daniel unravel the mystery, we can only imagine his degree of awe! When Daniel finished speaking, the most powerful man on Earth “fell on his face and paid humble respect to Daniel” (v. 46).

Nebuchadnezzar then gushed about Daniel’s God: “Your God truly is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets, since you have been able to reveal this secret” (v. 47). Nebuchadnezzar did not say he believed in the God of Israel, but he at least acknowledged that in the pantheon of “gods,” Daniel’s was the best. It’s a start.

Pagan Proclamation No. 2
In Chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar ordered an enormous statue be erected in the plain of Dura (v. 1). He then assembled the high officials from Babylon’s many provinces to Dura and ordered them to bow down to the statue – in essence paying homage to him.

However, there were three Hebrews – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego – who refused to bow because they belonged to the God of Israel. For their conviction, Nebuchadnezzar cast them into a furnace whose flames resembled an inferno.

As Nebuchadnezzar watched what happened next, he was awestruck yet again: The three men were walking around unscathed in the fire, and a fourth had joined them (probably the preincarnate Christ)! Upon pulling the three Hebrews from the fire, Nebuchadnezzar had much more to say than he did in the previous account:

Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and rescued His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and surrendered their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or population of any language that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses made a rubbish heap, because there is no other god who is able to save in this way (vv. 28-29).

Imagine a leader today passing a law prohibiting speaking against the God of the Bible!   

Pagan Proclamation No. 3
In Chapter 4 God afflicts Nebuchadnezzar with a condition which, in essence, turns him into an animal. As a result, the world’s most powerful man spent 7 years “driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws” (v. 33).

At the end of 7 years, the Lord restored Nebuchadnezzar to his original positon of power. So overwhelmed was the monarch that he exalted:

… I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account, But He does according to His will among the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can fend off His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?” … Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just; and He is able to humble those who walk in pride (vv. 34-35, 37).

Sounds like Nebuchadnezzar is no longer a pagan as he proclaims to the world his belief in, and adoration of, this “Most High” God!

Pagan Proclamation No. 4
In Chapter 6, Darius – king of the new world power Medo-Persia – was helpless in preventing a plot which landed the now-elderly Daniel in a lion’s den. Darius was sick over the situation and neither ate nor slept all night (v. 18).

When he arose, he immediately headed to the den, hoping against hope that Daniel’s God had delivered him. Much to Darius’ exhilaration, this is precisely what Daniel’s God had done! So jubilant was the monarch that he issued this decree:

… in all the realm of my kingdom people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever. He rescues, saves, and performs signs and miracles In heaven and on earth, He who has also rescued Daniel from the power of the lion (vv. 26-27).

Imagine that – a world leader ordering that people “tremble and fear” God! I’m not sure how this was enforced, but what a decree it was! What proclamations these pagan monarchs gave the world!

Oh that God would reach down and touch the heart of our leaders today that instead of warring against God, they too would fall on their knees and proclaim His glory!