Daniel 4 has the king talking with his people. “It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me”. He’s seen God work first had a few times now, and has come to realize that “His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation”. God’s the real deal. But the king has another dream and calls for Daniel to interpret. Daniel comes and hears the dreams and is immediately “dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him”. In fact, he doesn’t want to tell the king what the dream means at all.
The dream doesn’t have a pretty ending like the first one. In fact, it is about the downfall of the kingdom and how the king will be treated. Pride is one of those qualities that often get in the way. And God has determined the king needs to suffer “till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will”. God alone is ultimately in charge and in control. Th eking has lost sight of that. And this dream is a picture of what is to come if something doesn’t change.
Daniel sees clearly the outcome and the problem. He pleads with the king to “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”. The king has a sin problem and without some change, God’s going to take him down a few notches. Well the pride continues and the king 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”? There’s ultimate pride – it was all his doing and he was proclaiming credit for it. Didn’t take God long to react…..
“While the words were still in the king’s mouth….Immediately the word was fulfilled “ and the king was literally put out to pasture. It was a number of years before he finally “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”. It wasn’t until he figured out that God was God that things began to come back to the former ways.
God was faithful to His word through Daniel. “At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me”. What God had said, God did. He always does. And the king got his pride in check and his focus right. “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, 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”.