Quiet on the Set
The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built…
Daniel 4:30 KJV
In our brief dance across life’s stage there are critical moments when the stagehand steps out from the shadows and cries, “Quiet on the set.” The Director steps down from his chair and waves his arm for all movement to cease. At that point our listening ear and our attentive gaze are paramount. We may be deeply involved in a particular scene, but the scene must end immediately lest we miss the moment. The interruption may seem unneeded and unnatural but unless we listen intently to the Director, our part in God’s story cannot be discovered.
Nebuchadnezzar was one of the most powerful rulers of all time. He built the hanging gardens so that his wife would not be homesick, he enriched one of the greatest cities the world has ever known, and he was admired and feared by the ancient world. Babylon was known as the city of gold. However, Nebuchadnezzar made a fundamental mistake. Filled with pride, he lifted his voice and claimed credit for his accomplishments, “At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, ‘Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?’” (Daniel 4:30)
While the words were in his mouth God struck him down. Solomon once wrote that pride comes before a fall and nowhere was it more evident than with Nebuchadnezzar. He made a crash landing from the roof of his palace and was driven out into the field to eat grass like an animal. For three and a half years his nails grew long and his beard shaggy. When the Director calls for quiet on the set you can hear a pin drop. The rush of life continues all around us but when the Lord speaks he does so to the heart of man, and it is deafening.
We must be willing to step back, quiet ourselves and give our undivided focus to God. He certainly has ways to get her attention. Not to yield the stage to the One who owns the theatre brings disaster. The command to be quiet on the set must be heeded. The script we are given at that point must be carefully digested and obeyed. The king of Babylon was given back his sanity when he acknowledged the King of Heaven. Up to that point he had accomplished much in the eyes of men, but in Heaven, he was bankrupt. His performances were meagerly attended and soon forgotten. It is, though, the end of a man that counts, not his beginning. Nebuchadnezzar declared, “At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34) Are you listening to Him today?