Archive for January 14th, 2014

Daniel 4

Daniel 4 has another dream of the king.  Nebuchadnezzar has experienced the true God through Daniel, and the three guys thrown into the fiery furnace.  God has gotten his attention.  He says “It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation”.  The king has seen God’s hand at work, and knows that He is the Lord.

But memories are short.  Another dream comes and Daniel again is asked to interpret.  Daniel ”was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him”.  He wasn’t sure he really wanted to give the king the interpretation.  But upon the king’s insistence, Daniel tells him what is to come.  “You shall be driven from among men…. your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field….You shall be made to eat grass like an ox….you shall be wet with the dew of heaven….seven periods of time shall pass over you”.  No wonder Daniel was tentative to tell the story – it certainly wasn’t good news for the king.

The lesson here was the the king needed to change his ways.  Daniel tells him to straighten up and put God where He belongs.  “Break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity”.  A change was needed – some humility and the recognition that God was truly God.  But the admonition didn’t last and about a year later the king was on the roof of the palace looking over his kingdom and says “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty”?  Did you catch it – that ‘I’ word.  The king believes he has put it all together.  When we take God’s rightful place – that is sin.

God brings the dream to pass, and the details Daniel had shared happen exactly as God had said.  After the seven periods of time, “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….and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me”.  God restored his reason, and the king blessed God and his kingdom was also restored.  God used a 2X4 to the head to get the king’s attention. His pride was leveled and his priorities changed.  God becomes the center and Nebuchadnezzar gives “praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble”.

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