One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Tuesday, November 26, 2013: Daniel 2:24-3:30
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. Daniel 3:1 (NKJV)
God gave a true, good word to King Nebuchadnezzar. It came in the form of a dream that Daniel interpreted. Tragically, however, Nebuchadnezzar heard only PART of the word from God. As a result, he built a golden statue to himself. He twisted God's Word, and in so doing set up a demonic persecution of good men (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego).
This may sound like the domain of ancient egomaniacs, but it is far more common today than you might think. Scripture twisting is deadly business. In the name of religion, some of the worst damage can be done.
So, what are the signs of Scripture twisting?
1. We twist God's Word when we take only PART of God's Word and not the whole.
Nebuchadnezzar lifted the part about him being "the head of gold." He did not go on the hear about the God-formed stone that would bring down the whole statue. Far too often, we quote only those portions of Scripture that support our predispositions.
We should always have a passion for "the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27), not just the parts we like.
2. We twist God's Word when we use it for self-promotion.
God's Word is not the means of self-promotion. Nebuchadnezzar saw himself as the center rather than seeing the God of heaven on the throne.
Paul warned about those who would use "wranglings" (read "Scripture twisting"). These individuals make "godliness a means of personal gain" (I Tim. 6:5). In a day when Christianity has at times become big business, we need to be careful that we not use Scripture to build our personal empires.
3. We twist God's Word when we use worldly methods to "help" God.
God's work must be done God's way. Don't get me wrong, I believe godly use of good business practices is a good thing. But secular, strong-arm tactics never build God's kingdom.
The end DOES NOT justify the means. Too often, testimonies are "stretched" to make God look better. Actually, they only glorify the human instrument and too often produce a cult of personality.
Historically, secular leaders have used religion as a means of controlling the masses. This is evil. Scripture should never be used as manipulation but rather as liberation.
Over-zealous leaders can twist truth to further the mission. This never accomplishes the glory of God.
God spoke to Nebuchadnezzar through Daniel. He is speaking to you today, too. Nebuchadnezzar misapplied the truth and went down wrong paths. Even then, God still faithfully and patiently pursued him.
Each of us should determine to hear all of what God is saying to us. Allow Him to bring greatest glory to Himself. Don't try to help God out by cutting corners. Trust Him! The result will be the greatest good and the richest blessing. "You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free" (John 8:32)