Sunday, December 28, 2014

Humbling From the Hand of God

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just.  And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
 Daniel 4:37

In the Book of Daniel, we study about King Nebuchadnezzar.  King Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest of the Babylonian kings.  God’s Word describes him as one of the foreign rulers God used for His purposes.  Reading and studying the life of this king, we see that he thought of himself as a god and was a very prideful leader.  Until God’s divine humbling of Nebuchadnezzar, he never accepted the sovereignty of God.  He did not see that all he owned and all he had accomplished were because of the hand of Almighty God.  King Nebuchadnezzar was given royal authority from the King of King. 

In Daniel 4, we read that King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream about a tree and this dream greatly troubled him.  Scripture reveals that he was terrified.  I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous.  I had a dream that made me afraid.  As I was lying in bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me – Daniel 4:4-5.  When the Babylonian magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and diviners could not interpret the dream for the king, Daniel was called. 

Much of the world considered Nebuchadnezzar a divine king.  God was about to demonstrate that Nebuchadnezzar was an ordinary man placed in the kingship because of His sovereign will.  After the fulfillment of the dream, Nebuchadnezzar recognized the sovereignty of God and proclaimed God’s sovereignty to the nations and the people.  Daniel 4:17 gives us a glimpse of messengers making a proclamation of the reasoning for the divine punishment of Nebuchadnezzar.  The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.  God was about to place Nebuchadnezzar in a situation where he would come to recognize the sovereignty of Almighty God. 

In Daniel 4:19-27, we read that Daniel interprets the dream for the king.  Also Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that if he would renounce his sins that his prosperity would continue.  Daniel 4:27 – Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice:  Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed.  It may be that then your prosperity will continue.  The LORD withheld His divine judgment of King Nebuchadnezzar for one year, twelve months.  But Nebuchadnezzar was still filled with pride and refused to humble himself an accept the sovereignty of God.  Daniel 4:30 – He(King Nebuchadnezzar) said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power, and for the glory of my majesty?” 

Scripture reveals that as the words passed through his lips, divine punishment came upon him.  King Nebuchadnezzar’s royal authority was taken from him.  He was driven away from the people and lived among the wild animals for seven years.  After seven years had passed, Nebuchadnezzar sanity was restored and he began to praise, honor, and glorify Almighty God.  It took divine punishment - a humbling from the hand of God – for Nebuchadnezzar to acknowledge the sovereignty of God.  Daniel 4:34 – At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored.  Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.  His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 

Let’s learn a lesson from King Nebuchadnezzar.  Acknowledge and accept the sovereignty of God.  Take these words to heart – Daniel 4:37 – Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praised and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just.  And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. 

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to always acknowledge and accept Your sovereignty.  Your ways are just and right.  I pray you will reveal any evidence of pride in our life so we can humbly bow before You and repent.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.

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