Daniel 4 Message 5
From Pride to Praise in the life of King Nebuchadnezzar
As we read these beginning chapters of Daniel, we must keep in mind that God is preparing His people to receive His plan for the ages. In order to believe this plan, we must believe Him – that He is true and that He is in control of all things. We begin this morning with –
I. The Proclamation of God’s majesty.
Daniel 4:1-3 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
Nebuchadnezzar believed that all men needed to learn the truth that he had learned from God. He had thought that his power created signs and wonders, that he was great and mighty, that his kingdom and dominion would be forever (the golden statue). He recounted what took place in his life that brought him from pride to giving praise unto God. He began be writing of –
II. The Peace and Prosperity enjoyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel 4:4 I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:
He had not realized that the power, peace, and prosperity that he enjoyed had been given to him by God.
The Lord declared in –
Jeremiah 27:5-7 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
III. The Prophetic warning to Nebuchadnezzar from God. Daniel 4:5-27
God used many methods to communicate His will to man before Scripture, the Bible, was completed. He communicated to both believers and unbelievers. God could have warned Nebuchadnezzar directly using dreams. His plan was to give the truth as well as involve Daniel, proving him to be the man of God.
Nebuchadnezzar needed to admit that his power was limited and he needed the help that no man could give him. He needed to know the mind of God and only Daniel could reveal truth to him. Notice that –
A. Daniel was called after all others had failed to interpret the dream –
“But at the last Daniel came in before me…”. Nebuchadnezzar sought counsel from every other leader before finally calling Daniel. He had control over the men in his administration, but he knew that Daniel served God above all others. Asking for his help was an act of humiliation, but his fear drove him to know the meaning of the dream.
B. Daniel was told the dream.
The dream told by Nebuchadnezzar involved –
1. A magnificent tree known throughout the earth.
2. A messenger from God declaring three things to the king.
a. God’s judgment. Tree cut down.
Daniel 4:13-14 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
b. God’s mercy. Tree stump with life was to remain.
Daniel 4:15-16 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
The lesson for all to learn is –
c. God’s sovereignty.
Daniel 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
C. Daniel warned the king.
Daniel 4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
IV. The Pride of the king.
Daniel 4:29-30 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
Twelve months to consider the truth of God and submit to Him. God gives all of us time to learn and to obey. He is merciful in holding back punishment. God does give a limit to disobedience though.
V. The Punishment of the king.
Daniel 4:31-33 (KJV) While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.
Repentance and humility brought forth –
VI. The Profession of the king.
Daniel 4:34-35 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Nebuchadnezzar finally submitted to God. His praise is no longer directed to himself. He has humbled himself before God and proclaimed that only God is worthy to be worshipped.
VII. The Praise of the king.
Daniel 4:36-37 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellers and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
The truth is that God is in control. We have been reminded of this truth in these beginning chapters of Daniel. The foundational truth has been laid on which to build our trust in the revelations that are given to Daniel in the final portion of this book. We can have absolute confidence in the plan of God being fulfilled in His time. Trust Him!
Every person will stand before God and answer to Him.
The saved – will answer for what they have done, good and bad.
The lost – will answer for not believing God. They will not have another chance to be saved, but they must admit that they rejected the truth and deserve their punishment.
Why would you remain lost, when God has given you a way to be saved?