Journey with Daniel
“Nebuchadnezzar’s Hard Lesson”Categories: Journey with Daniel
Nebuchadnezzar’s Hard Lesson
Nebuchadnezzar had to learn a lesson the hard way. He thought he was god. He thought he was the god of all he built and all he conquered. But…, he is about to learn who God Most High really is. The lesson of who God Most High really is will be learned in the school of the hard knocks. He is going to be put out to pasture.
Consider, one of the things the pagans would do to demonstrate the greatness of their god, is they would put their shrines up on the highest hill, as if to say, “Look how high our god is. That’s the only place suitable for him, up here on this high hill. He is a high god.” Nebuchadnezzar did something like this in the last chapter. He built an idol, 90 feet tall, put it out on the plain of Dura and said, “Worship my towering god.” However, what Nebuchadnezzar learns today is that Jehovah’s rule and power is higher than any hill in the world. Further, it is more towering than any idol ever built. He is the Most High God. Nebuchadnezzar is a life-sized model of all sin. At the base of all sin is pride.
Oh, what a dream! He dreams of a tree. It grew tall and strong, but it will be cut down. All that will be left is a stump. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that is him. Furthermore, it does not stop there. He will also have the heart of an animal and live on the grass for a period of time. Nebuchadnezzar is going to learn the hard way that Jehovah is God Most High. However, there is some good news. After that period of time, God will restore his sanity. Nebuchadnezzar has reason to be terrified.
Let’s learn the lesson from Nebuchadnezzar. Pride is repugnant to God. Pride is a kind of plagiarism. It attempts to grasp for ourselves the glory that belongs to another. The king took all the glory for the greatness of his kingdom. He did not give the glory to God, who was the one who gave it to him in the first place. Pride denies the truth that prosperity comes from God, as a gift of His grace.
I believe one of the most telling signs of what God thinks of man’s pride is the punishment God chose for this proud man. He humbled him by taking away his sanity and making him like an animal. Also, I believe the message God is wanting us to get is pride is a form of insanity. Insanity is a condition in which one loses touch with reality. When we are proud, living as if there is no God, and no judgment, and we are in control, we are living out of touch with reality. Our pride is a form of insanity.
When we refuse to submit ourselves to God, as creatures made in His image, we are in grave danger of descending to the level of an animal. They have no consciousness of God. They are incapable of worship. They are not destined for eternity. And when we are proud, we are not conscience of God, we will not worship Him, and we are living like beasts that do not have an eternity.
Why does God hate pride so much? Because it brings such untold pain, suffering and destruction on those who live by it. Peter put it this way, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6).
Bringing it home: One lesson this story teaches us is that God desires our reaction of praise. When the king gave up on his pride and saw God for who He is, the reaction was one of praise. Notice, it was not that he just praised God behind closed doors, but he used his position to make sure his praise of God was heard throughout the world.