|Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came up with a plan that seemed to be the perfect test of his subject's
loyalty. He constructed an massive image of gold, and set it up on the plain of Dura. The litmus test of
allegiance to the king would be determined by their willingness to bow and pay homage to this image.
Anyone refusing to bow would be thrown into a fiery furnace - and roasted alive.
The fact that the king possessed wealth immense enough to construct a statue almost 100 feet high out of the
most precious metal known to man was not sufficient; he desired the worship of everyone within his
domain. However, regardless of his conceit, he carefully considered the psychological mechanics of
compelling massive numbers of people to arbitrarily follow an order to worship something new or foreign.
While most people would be easily intimidated by the specter of being burned alive, worship willingly offered
was preferable to forced compliance. A psychological trigger was needed, something that would make the
command to worship appealing, trendy...even something to look forward to. A brilliant two-pronged
strategy was conceived.
On the day of the formal dedication of the massive statue, all administrative and law enforcement personnel
were present for the ceremony. Daniel 3:2-3 tells us that, "Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather
together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs,
and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king
had set up.
Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all
the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the
king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up." This sent a powerful
message that all governing, judicial, and enforcement personnel endorsed the king's worship project and
would not challenge it. This was the first prong of the strategy.
Nebuchadnezzar's coterie of wise men included Chaldeans, astrologers, magicians, sorcerers and
prognosticators, men who were highly skilled in understanding and manipulating the human psyche. These
masters of influence looked to a medium that guaranteed the path of least resistance to the minds of the
people...music. That this strategy was aimed specifically at the general population is brought out in Daniel
3:4-7...Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,
That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of
musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery
It is fair to assume that the musicians the king sent forth were highly skilled in playing their various
instruments. It is also likely they were attractive to look upon, so that psychologically the people would
associate worship of the image with beauty, sensuality, and pleasure. Apparently this strategy was quite
Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and
all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden
image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Notice the command was to the people; the ruling body was already in agreement with the king. The
people were to let the music be their guide, and the ruling body stood ready to enforce the edict on anyone
who was non-compliant. Music was the second prong that completed the strategy.
There are other issues relevant to the image, which should not be ignored. The worship of this image
embodied the Satanic strategy which has plagued mankind since the Garden of Eden - a stratagem still used
today in the popular culture via many music videos:
LUST OF THE EYES
The image was all of gold, a coveted commodity, masterfully designed and awesome to look upon. Likely,
worshipers hoped they too would be blessed with riches as they paid homage to the image.
LUST OF THE FLESH
Voluptuous women and virile men would make the worship of the image an occasion to look forward to.
The music they played was specifically designed to invoke the trigger to worship the image; soon, only a few
familiar notes would need to be heard, or perhaps the tune replayed in one's head, in order to evoke the
THE PRIDE OF LIFE
As noted earlier, the ruling class and upper echelon of Babylonian society stood solidly with the king in his
idolatrous endeavor. "Everybody who anybody" was a part of the state worship system which called for
total allegiance. If you wanted to be counted as a good citizen/subject, or not undermine your chances for
advancement in Babylonian society, you conformed to the prescribed standard. The Bible, however, tells us
about three young men for whom conformity was not an option...
|36 x 48
Gouache, chalk, pencil, ink and nail enamel on canvas
|The Story Behind the Painting...
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|Initiation Into Idolatry Through Music