Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation

Winston Churchill was once asked, “Doesn’t it thrill you to know that every time you make a speech, the hall is packed to overflowing?” “It’s quite flattering,” replied Sir Winston. “But whenever I feel that way, I always remember that if instead of … More

Pride

Sad to say Nebuchadnezzar did not take the prophet’s advice and turn from his evil way. It seems almost incredible that the king would refuse to heed Daniel’s pleading and yet that is exactly what he did. Actually the heart of man has not changed since that historic event. With all the preaching of God’s Word today, men for the most part will not turn from their pride and self will to Christ.

All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar (v. 28). God in his grace gave an additional year before judgment came (v. 29). Then one day when Nebuchadnezzar was strutting around his palace displaying arrogance and pride, he directly challenged God by taking all glory to himself (v. 30). The proud king was reduced to the level of a beast (vv. 31-33). Minutes before his fall he wore the royal robes of a ruling monarch; then he was found crawling on all fours in an open field, eating grass like an ox. For seven years he lived like an animal.

Finally Nebuchadnezzar silently acknowledged the sovereignty of God by lifting up his eyes to heaven and thus  acknowledged God’s right to rule (vv.34-35). The chastisement ended and the king’s mind was restored and he was restored to his throne (vv. 36-37). We may recognize that God exists and does wonderful miracles, but God is not going to change us until we make Him our Lord.

This is the last we read in the Scriptures of Nebuchadnezzar. He lived for about one year and his son Evil-Merodach, who it is thought occupied the throne during the years of his fathers insanity, succeeded him as Babylon’s next monarch (Jeremiah 52:30-31).

Application

It is easy for me to condemn Nebuchadnezzar for being boastful when I have actually been guilty of the same thing. Anything I am able to accomplish is because God has given me the ability to accomplish it.

Daniel 4:28-37 (English Standard Version)

All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?" While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, "O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will." Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws. At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?" At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

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