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Lesson # Dan. 4:23-27
Study Material - Dan. 4:23-27
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23 'And in that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven and saying, 'Chop down the tree and destroy it; yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field, and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him share with the beasts of the field until seven periods of time pass over him'; 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25 that you be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes. 26 'And in that it was commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules. 27 'Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness, and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.'
Daniel continues with the explanation of the dream. Nebuchadnezzar was to be cut off from his throne. Not only that, but he would be cut off from clear thinking man. So far as the empire of Babylon was concerned he would still be king, and according to the dream he would be restored to his throne once he recognized that God was the supreme authority in this universe.
The meaning of the stump represents that he would continue to live, that the stump would be preserved such that a new tree would be able to grow up out of the stump. The placement of a band around a stump, freshly cut down, was a common practice in order to preserve the stump and prevent its cracking and deterioration. Thus Nebuchadnezzar was to be preserved.
Why not just let him die for his crimes? Well God did the same thing to Pharaoh of the exodus generation. He let Pharaoh continue with his hardened heart (his stubbornness of soul), and note it was Pharaoh who was hardening his own heart up until the last few plagues, then the wording changed - God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Pharaoh had past the point of having the right to be alive, yet God kept him alive to make a greater demonstration of His (Gods) power and righteousness and justice. So it is with Nebuchadnezzar. He was stubborn. Such that it would take him seven years to change his attitude toward God.
His mental condition would change abruptly due to his own defective thinking process. His soul was corrupt, but he thought he had the right to do whatever he wanted to do. And such is the thinking of a negative person. They do not see the wrong in their lifestyle. They care nothing for anyone but themselves.
'...let him share with the beasts...', share is the word 'chalaq', meaning to apportion, to provide a part of, to distribute a rightful share. Nebuchadnezzar brought his mental condition on to himself such that he may claim his rightful share of its reward. That share was to think and act like an animal. But it is more than that. He had the cognitive ability to change his mind at any point during those seven years, but his stubbornness prevented him from repenting.
Such is the power of the negative soul. You probably have known or seen people that are so negative, that despite hearing the truth, they reject it and hold fast to their beliefs, to their attitudes. This is true in the social circles, in politics (Oh, don't get me started there), in marriage, in all aspects of life.
People may say that they are open minded. They may say all of the right words but their actions, their decisions all point to hard line negative.
We have already seen that there is a court in heaven. The highest court in this universe. The courts of this world are defective because people are, well, defective. We are not omniscient, we do not always have the facts, we are driven by politics and the lust to win so often facts are ignored in order to gain a victory. And this is true for both the prosecution and the defense. Sometimes a court experience can be looked at as a game. The victims and the accused are just pawns used by others who have their own career agendas. When that happens then one side or perhaps both sides never get justice, but rather injustice is the result.
This injustice occurs not only in the courts of justice, but in the social organizations, in the office place, well, actually wherever people are found. Do they get away with it? No. God looks on the heart. Watcher angels look on the actions. The highest court in existence never closes and it weighs all the facts perfectly and correctly, and renders just decisions.
If you are abused. Remain silent, that is, don't retaliate, don't taunt your enemies. Maintain your poise and let God handle it all. They will get their due, and you will be the better for it. It may be difficult at times to do this, but then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were accused wrongly and actually thrown into the fire. Well, you too will perhaps be thrown into the fire of public opinion. If you stick with your Bible study, then you can weather the storm. Just as storms always pass, so too your enemies will fade away. You can bank on that!
To do otherwise, then you face discipline. And probably knowing full well that it is all your fault. Will you be stubborn as Nebuchadnezzar was? For seven years he held to his stiff beliefs even thought he was obviously in a ridiculous state. Everyone else could see it, but he could not see his own flaws. Negative people can never see their own flaws until they let go of their arrogance and begin to think in a little more humble like fashion.
Nebuchadnezzar willed himself to a position above all mankind. God allowed him to place himself on a level equal to that of animals. Such is the mental capacity of man. When the soul becomes unhealthy, it deteriorates. Pharaoh had opportunity and many demonstrations of Gods power and authority. God permitted him to live to prove that point. Nebuchadnezzar was in the same boat, but he finally changed his attitude and repented (a changing of the mind). He finally looked to heaven for guidance rather than from himself.
Regardless of the unfairness that exists in this life, regardless of the unforgiving attitude of people in this world, there is always the court in heaven which will always render decisions in your favor 'if' you get your spiritual act together. Choose for God and you choose for the best possible results in your life. Choose against God, choose for the jungle, then you get what you deserve, and you will not like it!
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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