Initiation Into Idolatry Through Music
36 X 48
Gouache, chalk, pencil, ink, and nail enamel on canvas
A Test Of Allegiance
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up with a plan that seemed to be the perfect gauge of his subject's loyalty. He constructed an massive image of gold, and set it up on the plain of Dura. The litmus test of allegiance to the king would be determined by the willingness to bow and pay homage to this image. Anyone refusing to bow would be thrown into a fiery furnace—and roasted alive.
Mind control through music is not a modern phenomenon.
The Logistics of Compliance
The fact that the king possessed wealth sufficient to construct a statue almost 100 feet high out of the most precious metal known to man was not enough; he desired the worship of everyone within his domain.
Regardless of his conceit, he carefully considered the psychological mechanics of compelling massive numbers of people to arbitrarily follow an order to worship something new or foreign. While most people would be easily intimidated by the specter of being burned alive, worship willingly offered was preferable to forced compliance.
A psychological trigger was needed; something that would make the command to worship appealing, trendy...even something to anticipate. A brilliant two-pronged strategy was conceived.
Everybody On Board
On the day of the formal dedication of the massive statue, all administrative and law enforcement personnel were present for the ceremony. Daniel 3:2-3 tells us that, "Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
The Powers That Be Show Solidarity
Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up." This sent a powerful message that all governing, judicial, and enforcement personnel
endorsed the king's worship project and would not challenge it. This was the first prong of the strategy.
Spiritual and Cultural
Influencers Endorse the Edict
Nebuchadnezzar's coterie of wise men included Chaldeans, astrologers, magicians, sorcerers and prognosticators, men who were highly skilled in understanding and manipulating the human psyche. These masters of influence looked to a medium that guaranteed the path of least resistance to the minds of the people ...music. Daniel 3:4-7 shows how this strategy was aimed specifically at the general population:
That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Social Engineering Test
Notice the command was to the people; the ruling class was already in agreement with the king. The people were to let the music be their guide, and the ruling body stood ready to enforce the edict on anyone who was non-compliant. Music was the second prong that completed the strategy.
Why Was This So Spiritually Negative?
The worship of this image embodied the triad Satanic strategy which has plagued mankind since the Garden of Eden—a stratagem still used today in the popular culture via many music videos:
Lust Of The Eyes
The image was all of gold, a coveted commodity, masterfully designed and
awesome to look upon. Likely, worshipers hoped they too would be blessed
with riches as they paid homage to the image.
Lust Of The Flesh
Voluptuous women and virile men would make the worship of the image an
occasion to look forward to. The music they played was specifically designed to
invoke the trigger to worship the image; soon, only a few familiar notes would
need to be heard, or perhaps the tune replayed in one's head, in order to evoke
the desired response.
The Pride Of Life
As noted earlier, the ruling class and upper echelon of Babylonian society stood
solidly with the king in his idolatrous endeavor. "Everybody who anybody" was
a part of the state worship system which called for total allegiance. If you
wanted to be counted as a good citizen/subject, or not undermine your chances
for advancement in Babylonian society, you conformed to the prescribed
standard. The Bible, however, tells us about three young men for whom conformity was not an option: