by Doy Moyer
Arrogance and haughtiness do not appeal to God’s people. Rather, humility and love do, for this is what characterizes our Lord; this is the way of the cross. We must not applaud the conceit and selfish ambition of those in powerful positions lest we find ourselves bowing to the idols that are the fruit of such arrogance and power.
When Daniel came face to face with the arrogance and power of Nebuchadnezzar, he was respectful, but he declared the truth that there was a kingdom much greater than anything Nebuchadnezzar could imagine. When Daniel’s three friends faced the idol that came from Nebuchadnezzar’s selfish ambition, they would not bow down. They chose the path of ridicule and suffering over the ease of kowtowing to the one who thought of himself as the greatest ruler ever. Only God would exalt the humble.
It doesn’t matter how much Nebuchadnezzar did for Babylon: “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” Babylon may have “great,” and Nebuchadnezzar may have been powerful, but his arrogance brought him down and marked him as God’s enemy. He was still accountable to the God of gods, and he had to be brought low to recognize this. It has ever been so.
Christians are never to lend support to evil, and they are not puppets for the arrogant and powerful. The conceited rulers, no matter what they accomplish, are still enemies of the cross of Christ—and this contrast is vital to understand for Christians trying to maneuver through a fallen world. For these enemies,
“Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:19-21).
Never lose sight of our ultimate allegiance.