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Daniel chapter 4 is an incredible chapter today! There is a lot going on in this one. We open up this chapter with King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon giving praise to God as verses 2 & 3 tell us: "I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how powerful his wonders! His kingdom will last forever, his rule through all generations." Does this sound like the Nebuchadnezzar we've come to know? We'll, we must read on as he tells us how he got to the point of praising God like this...
Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the tree in this chapter is relatively straightforward, as is the interpretation that Daniel gives. One intriguing verse to me was verse 27 where Daniel pleads with Nebuchadnezzar to repent to avoid what will happen per the dream - "O King Nebuchadnezzar, please listen to me. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past by being merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper." Do you think Nebuchadnezzar listened to Daniel? What if Daniel was telling us to do this same thing this very day? Would we listen? Will we stop sinning and do what is right? Will we be merciful to the poor? Below is a portrait by Guy Rowe of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the tree:
We see the sin of pride bring down Nebuchadnezzar in verse 30 as follows - "Just look at this great city of Babylon! I, by my own mighty power, have built this beautiful city as my royal residence and as an expression of my royal splendor." Are their times in our life where we boast of what we have "done" or "created" by our "own mighty power"? Good idea.... ?
In this chapter today Nebuchadnezzar becomes Gollum from the Lord of the Rings! :) Yes, I did hear someone teach on this chapter recently and he placed up on screen a picture of Gollum from Lord of the Rings and suggested this is what happened to Nebuchadnezzar essentially in verse 33 - "That very same hour the prophecy was fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven. He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles' feathers and his nails were like birds' claws." Can you see how sin can drive us to basic animal instincts? Like Gollum? Do you see how godly wisdom can save us from becoming like animals? Like Gollum? Pride seems to be a very tempting sin for all of us - and not a good one to pursue - as Nebuchadnezzar tells us himself in verse 37 -"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble those who are proud." Do you believe this to be true? Below is an image of Gollum... and perhaps Nebuchadnezzar for seven years?
Verse 36 also stands out to me in this chapter only because it reminds me of the end of the book of Job - "When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and officers sought me out, and I was reestablished as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before." A reminder that God gives and takes away - and can give again...
Worship Video: Today's readings reminds me of the Amy Grant song "Thy Word:"
Is God's Word a Light for you? Click here for Light!
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