“Twelve months later, as he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babel, the king said, ‘Babel the great! I built it as a royal residence by my power and force to enhance the glory of my majesty!’ No sooner had the king spoken these words when a voice came down from heaven: King Nebuchadnezzar! These words are for you: The kingdom has left you. You will be driven from human society to live with the wild animals. You will be made to eat grass like an ox and be drenched with dew from the sky, as seven seasons pass over you, until you learn that the Most High rules in the human kingdom and gives it to whomever He pleases.” Daniel 4:29-32
As Nebuchadnezzar was collecting the “best of the best” intellects from among the conquered nations, he would have done well to have sought out this proverb from among the Judean leaders.
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
In a scenario exactly the opposite of Job’s, Nebuchadnezzar was the antithesis of humility and blamelessness. It is easy to prophesy (or at least hope for) the downfall of a proud man. But, what about his restoration? We serve a God who not only judges; He also forgives. That is, His justice (at least up to His final judgment) is intended to bring people to repentance. That was Nebuchadnezzar’s response, to repent and give glory and honor to God.
“When this period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes toward heaven, and my understanding came back to me. I blessed the Most High, I praised and gave honor to him who lives forever. For His rulership is everlasting, His kingdom endures through all generations. All who live on earth are counted as nothing. He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among those living on earth. No one can hold back His hand or ask Him, ‘What are you doing?’ Daniel 4:34-35
Notice that Nebuchadnezzar’s understanding came back when he “looked up,” seeking the Lord. Often, we endure hardship by looking down, concentrating on our circumstances. Restoration begins by worshipping the One who alone can affect the kind of change that can affect our circumstances, even down to influencing the esteem and opinions of others.
“It was at that moment that my understanding came back to me; and for the sake of the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor also came back to me. My advisers and lords sought me out. I was re-established in my kingdom, and my previous greatness even more was added. So now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven: For all His works are truth, and His ways are just; and he can humble those who walk in pride.” Daniel 4:36-37
Daniel is the only Biblical book with sections written by a Gentile. As in the book of Jonah, Daniel exposes that God has always accepted Gentiles who worship Him rightly.
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