“‘King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.’”
Daniel 4:27 New Living Translation
As Daniel interpreted God’s warning contained in the dream, he was concerned about what would happen to King Nebuchadnezzar and advised him on how he may avoid the punishment foretold in the dream. Daniel pled with him to change his ways and stop sinning. The specific attitude Daniel points out is Nebuchadnezzar’s treatment of the poor. In addition to his reputation of being a great administrator and builder of his kingdom, Nebuchadnezzar was also known as a ruthless leader. Throughout the book of Daniel, we see incidents where he was prone to have fits of rage when things did not go as he planned. This also appears to have manifested itself in a disregard for the most vulnerable members of his kingdom. If Nebuchadnezzar hoped to avoid the punishment foretold in the dream, Daniel advised him to change his attitude toward the poor.
Our heart attitude toward God often manifests itself in how we treat and view those who are less advantaged than us. All people are made in the image of God. Therefore, if we treat the poor with contempt or take advantage of them, we are guilty of showing contempt toward God. Jesus makes this point very clearly in His “Parable of The Sheep and The Goats” when He warns His hearers that their disregard for the most vulnerable of people around them demonstrates a disregard for Him. How we treat those who are oppressed and disadvantaged speaks volumes about the state of our hearts before God. God will not allow a person or a nation to prosper forever if they disregard the poor.
Lord, help me to remember that we are all made in your image and how I treat those who are most vulnerable represents how I view you. Keep my heart humble.