Pride is another theme in the book of Daniel. There are many examples of pride in the text – and as the saying goes, pride comes before a fall. The first king we meet, Nebuchadnezzar, builds a gold statue of himself that everyone must worship. King Darius passed a law that all the people must worship only him for thirty days. Another king, Belshazzar, threw a huge party and used the stolen temple goblets and plates to serve his food and wine, showing his conquering strength.
All three kings had to learn a lesson for their pride: Nebuchadnezzar was driven away into the wild until he was able to accept that God was more powerful than him. Darius had to throw his friend Daniel to lions and spend the night worrying for his fate. Belshazzar saw writing appear on the wall telling him that he had been measured and found wanting, and that his kingdom would end, which it did.
In contrast, the humble characters are blessed: Daniel is rescued from the lions’ den and is often elevated to a position of power where he can help others. His friends are spared a horrible death in the fiery furnace and walk out unharmed. The story reminds us that humility is a blessing and reminds us to be humble in all that we say or do. A modern hymn that reminds us of God’s humility is ‘Meekness and majesty’ by Graham Kendrick (Singing the Faith 362), which reminds us that the creator of the universe was also humble.
God of majesty and humility,
How great are your acts and mighty are your works
The greatest act of all was done in deep humility
You stepped from heaven’s glory and became a vulnerable human
You lived a human life and humbled yourself further
You showed us the cost of humility, serving friends and strangers
Walking humbly to death on a cross
Help us to show humility in the tasks that you have called us to
That we may be true servants of you
You can download this Prayer for the Week here
Weekly prayers for September written by Revd Claire Rawlinson
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