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Archive for June, 2018

Entitlement

“Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual” (Daniel 3:19 NIV).

Attitudes can change instantly, and when they do they can transform into the exact opposite of what they were. King Nebuchadnezzar had an alarming dream and he called for Daniel to reveal what he had dreamed and what it meant. Asking someone to read your mind is an impossible task. Yet Daniel prayed and the Lord revealed the intricate dream so Daniel could impress the king.

After Daniel explained in detail the dream and what it meant, King Nebuchadnezzar actually fell prostrate before Daniel as if to worship him. But Daniel backed away and told Nebuchadnezzar all the credit was God’s. The king was in awe of Daniel’s God and even said that he was God of gods and Lord of kings. He was so impressed that he put Daniel in charged of all of Babylon’s wise men. In addition, Nebuchadnezzar appointed Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, to high positions. Only a grateful king would do all this for these men. Nebuchadnezzar was grateful for finding out what the dream was about. A grateful attitude can be a generous attitude, or so it seemed. Remember, attitudes can change.

Nebuchadnezzar built a huge image (figure) of gold. He was the king and, therefore entitled to be obeyed. He expected everyone in the kingdom to bow down to the statue as he commanded. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused, Nebuchadnezzar’s attitude changed. He was no longer grateful when they dared to disobey his command. You see, one thing we learn here is how changing circumstances can change attitudes. Now Nebuchadnezzar was hot and someone was going to pay! He went from gratitude to furious in an instant.

He threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into a fiery pit but soon a fourth figure appeared through the flames. Jesus had come to protect the three men. When Nebuchadnezzar saw the fourth person in the furnace, he called the men to come out. Then he was astonished that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were unhurt. They were not burned; the hair on their heads was not even singed. Their clothing was not burned and they didn’t even smell like fire.

Nebuchadnezzar switched attitudes again. Now he was astonished and once again in awe of the God of the Jews.

Has an attitude of entitlement crept into your life? Do you respond well when others do not meet your expectations? What will it take to turn your attitude from one of entitlement into one of an awe and reverence for God?

Father, God. Good attitudes are important for us to cultivate in order for us to glorify You. Keep me mindful of the changes around me and how I respond to them and the people involved. Keep me on a straight and even path. Amen.

This is an excerpt from the forty-day devotional, “Attitude Matters”. Click here to order.

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