-The “in and out” relationship, or maybe a better word is acknowledgement, between Nebuchadnezzar and the LORD comes full circle in this fourth chapter of Daniel. The chapter begins with the king’s declaring God’s peace in the aftermath of His divine encounter with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Nebuchadnezzar is also proclaiming “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 (Daniel 4:1-3).”
-Then, at what seemed like the peak of his authority and recognition of God as a legitimate force, the LORD sends another dream upon him, which mystifies both him and his enchanters. Finally Daniel is called in before the king to interpret once again by the grace and power of the Almighty. He is cordial to the sovereign king wishing him no trouble, but he is honest in reflecting what is about to come upon the leader of the known world at that time. Nebuchadnezzar’s tree of power had grown large and was visible to the end of the whole earth. It was a fruitful kingdom and provided for creation. God had set up this kingdom, and He deserved the appreciation of it. What the LORD forecasted was that Nebuchadnezzar would take all the credit for his rise and receive the glory unto himself rather than giving credit to the Sovereign King of the universe. The king would be cut down, given the mind of an animal, live outside, and become totally unkempt with his glory absolutely gone for seven periods of time (years). This happened 12 months after Daniel had interpreted the disturbing dream to the king. Walking on the roof of his palace (much like King David before he fell into sin, 2 Samuel 11-12), the king gets conceited in his accomplishments saying, “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” While he was still speaking these prideful words the LORD declared that “sovereignty has been removed from you.” God further stated that Nebuchadnezzar’s abilities would be taken completely away until he recognized “that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes (Daniel 4:4-32).”
-But, after seven years of torment and disaster for the former glorious king, he came back to his senses and reason when he raised his eyes toward heaven and blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever (Daniel 4:33-34a). God’s Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom from generation to generation doing all that He desires according to His will. No one can ward off His Hand or say to Him, “What have You done (Daniel 4:34b-35)?” The king’s glory and splendor were returned to him and he regained his authority with his people. Surpassing greatness was even added to him as he acknowledged the God of Heaven (Daniel 4:36). His final quote in Scripture is apropos, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of Heaven, for all His works are true and His way just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride (Daniel 4:37).”
-*Application* How many times do we forget to recognize in our own lives that God is in complete control? How would it change our approach to life if we would simply acknowledge the LORD and give Him the complete glory and praise for what He rightly deserves? We are the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3-5). Follow Him and give Him acknowledgement. He raises up those whom He desires and lowers those whom He wishes. The recent NBA finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers was an excellent example of this if one paid close attention to what the players were saying and giving credit to.
Verse to Memorize: Daniel 4:37