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Lesson # Dan. 4:28-33
Study Material - Dan. 4:28-33
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28 'All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. 29 'Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 'The king reflected and said, 'Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?' 31 'While the word was in the king's mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, 32 and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, 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.' 33 'Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws.
God does not pull any punches. Everything foretold came to pass. Nebuchadnezzar was warned directly concerning his pending judgment, and he was warned on several occasions prior to this. Nebuchadnezzar knew of the God of Israel. He knew of the plurality of the trinity and even designated the Spirit of God directly to Daniel when he acknowledged knowing that the Spirit of God was on Daniel.
He knew of the weakness and origin of the idols built by man. He knew of the power of God. He knew that the empire had its start before he came to power. He knew that Babylon was one of the oldest cities in the ancient world and that it was there before he was born. That it was not he that built the city or beautified it, but the work of thousands of slaves, contractors, and residents of the city
He also saw what he wanted to see. He saw only his own greatness, which was not real. He had the opinion that it was he that controlled the destiny of millions, and it was for himself that all this greatness existed. When peace is present, then business and the enterprising motivations, and imaginations, and innovations of people in general take off and thrive. When taxes are low and freedoms are great, prosperity explodes producing even more for the state and its citizens. But the empire is at its peak and about to take a nose dive. We'll see in the upcoming chapter the next time we visit Daniel, that the next King will squander the wealth of the empire, and the empire will disappear almost in an instant.
Nebuchadnezzar did not heed his warning. His mood was not mentioned to us when Daniel completed his explanation. We already know that Nebuchadnezzar had a temper, and rage was but a spark away, but here we suspect that Nebuchadnezzar knew what was coming. Only it did not happen right away.
Daniel told him that he should stop sinning and treating people ruthlessly and all of this would not happen. That all of his wealth and prosperity would continue. But this was ignored. Nebuchadnezzar was probably quiet and thoughtful for the next few days. But then a week past, then two weeks, then a month, then he got distracted with the affairs of state and his anger came back. His arrogance continued unchecked. More people went to the furnace. He was dissatisfied and others felt the pain when he was not happy.
Then he came to the point that he was not going to return from in his arrogance (twelve months later) and ... ZAP..., God hit him with the decision and order that was issued by the high court of heaven. For the next seven years he became like an animal. Filthy, un-cleaned, un-groomed, slobbering, stinking, and this is the true picture that God has of mankind. When we are out of Gods will we are no better off than Nebuchadnezzar in his animalistic state. We know we are dirty, but we do not clean ourselves. We know that we stink, but we do not wash ourselves. We know that we are un-groomed but we do not straighten ourselves out. And it is the soul, not the body, that we are talking about. But as goes the soul, so goes the body. The condition of the soul overflows to the body . No this is not a secret to medical cures. If you are missing legs, then spiritual maturity will not grow you back a pair of legs, but then spiritual maturity was not designed to be a body repair service, but a soul repair service. Obviously if you are happy, then you feel better regardless of your situation. If you are miserable, then you do not feel good, also, regardless of your physical condition.
Nebuchadnezzar was cognizant of his situation, yet his arrogance was so powerful, that he wanted to maintain his disgusting state more than he wanted to repent, in humility, and recover and be a better person. Does this happen today? Of course. Lets see. A good example will probably get me into trouble, but here goes. The ladies, notice I said ladies now. They have their monthly cycles, and if the circumstances are right (which sometimes doesn't take much), then WW III is but a glance away. What was that proverb about better to be out on the roof? Anyway. They have full cognizance of their situation. They know that it is better to be polite and nice to the rest of us 'low life's', but can we help it if we are inferior creatures? Anyway, duck and run is the order of the day, or two, or three. Then you can come up for air - slowly. Recovery occurs and all is right with the world. It never happened. What is our problem anyway???
Ok, Nebuchadnezzar knew of his affliction but he did not care. He did not want to care. He refused to care. He had recovery just a thought away, but staunchly refused. So is the power of arrogance. If you let arrogance rule you, then you risk losing your soul to far worse situations. A woman's monthly cycle is a good reminder to us all that we are all at risk. This is only an illustration for teaching purposes. God invented it and it has more teaching applications than just the flushing of a biological system. Self control, or the refusal to exercise self control is exactly what Nebuchadnezzar faced and he refused.
He was not a believer yet and his risk was even greater - eternal condemnation. As for believers, the rule of arrogance prevents spiritual growth. And the rewards and blessings of spiritual maturity are as far beyond spiritual immaturity, as salvation is beyond no salvation. Repeat. The rewards and blessings of spiritual maturity are as far beyond spiritual immaturity, as salvation is beyond no salvation. Think about that. We will be in the book of Hebrews soon and the extreme importance of spiritual maturity will come to light if you haven't seen it already.
So just because you are saved now, doesn't give you the right to be lax in your spiritual life. It doesn't give you the right to be rude, and cruel, and condescending, and mean, etc. to others. If anything, you have even greater obligations to others than you ever did.
Well, in verse 33, Nebuchadnezzar is all dressed up and has no date! Hummm! That is what life in the jungle is all about. Getting everything you ever wanted and then looking the mirror and realizing that you are really ugly and ending up with nothing. Nebuchadnezzar thought highly of himself, but did not get a chance to look at himself for seven years, and it was then that we all got to look at what mans glory really looks like. Only God has true gory. Only God cab distribute true glory. Mans accomplishments are never of themselves, but are always by the grace of God.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
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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