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Lesson # Dan. 4:34-37
Study Material - Dan. 4:34-37
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34 'But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward 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. 35 'And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What hast Thou done?' 36 'At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. 37 'Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.'
Nebuchadnezzar repented, then his reason was restored, not the reverse. He always had the ability to repent despite his mental condition or disability as you might call it. This does not mean that every mental patient is under discipline from God, nor that every mental patient has the ability to reason. Here Nebuchadnezzar had that ability and he refused for seven years to repent and recognize God.
God has infinite patience and He also has the ability to look down through the corridors of time and see just what each one of us will think and decide and when we will do these things if ever.
Often times people will state that God is unfair, because he does not give people enough time to make up their minds. But that is not the case. God is always fair. Those who will believe in Christ will do so and they will be given enough time to make that decision. Those who will reject Christ, will reject Him even to His face and will never accept Christ. Such is their stubborn refusal. When we get in to the Gospels we will eventually read a story about a rich man and a poor man who both die. The poor man goes to Paradise and the rich man goes to Torments. There will be a conversation between Abraham and the rich man. They are separated by an impassible great gulf deep. The rich man will not accept Christ even while in Torments. Torments (where all unbelievers go to throughout history) you will recall is one of the four compartments in the under world called Hades. Paradise is another of those compartments, and is where all Old Testament believers went to when they died. Paradise is now vacant as all Old Testament believers were transferred to a new Paradise in heaven, immediately after Christ's resurrection after the Cross. There was a great victory procession ( a parade if you will) when this transfer occurred about 1971 years ago (assuming that the Cross was in 30 AD), calculating from this year 2001.
But to those who will eventually believe, God is just and fair. Sometimes it will take quite a jolt in the persons life in order to get them to surrender their pride and to believe in Christ. So it did with Nebuchadnezzar. Seven years of stubbornness. But eventually he gave up and looked toward heaven as a saved man, rather than at the ground as a mere member of the jungle with no hope.
God is the sovereign. He is the ruler over all that is. He determines all that will happen and controls all that does happen. He does for us, that which is for our own good, our better good. This is more than anyone of us can possibly do for ourselves. Everyone and everything in existence is nothing. You and I are nothing. Regardless of what you think of yourself, you are nothing in Gods eyes, and if ever there were a contest between you and God, then you will lose horribly. Nebuchadnezzar grew ugly, but that is really the picture of each one of our souls, if we follow in the footsteps of Nebuchadnezzar. We do not have to end up like him, in a mental institution. There are any ugly souls out there who seem pretty nice to us, but then we cannot see into their souls. We only see their outward social appearance, not their private real self.
God does everything in accordance to His will, in accordance to His decrees (that selection of history in eternity past which best works out for all of us). No one can hinder what God has willed, and history is full of those leaders, tyrants, politicians, do gooders, etc., who think that they have all the answers or have tried to superimpose their will on the world. They all eventually fail.
Prosperity was restored to Nebuchadnezzar. His position as King was restored. He probably, as part of his recovery, looked at himself and decided that is was time for a bath, a pedicure, a haircut, a change of clothes, and so forth. People probably were somewhat surprised at his 'miraculous' recovery. We can just see the transition. One morning he thought in his own mind that God was right and he repented and believed in Christ. He looked at himself and decided it was time to get back to the real world. He got up, began walking back to the palace, began giving rational orders - 'Start my bath, call the barber, bring my wardrobe...'. The orders came out like machine gun bullets. People in the palace were shocked, but began jumping up and getting things done. 'The King is recovered!!!' Imagine the excitement in some, perhaps the disappointment in others (who had enjoyed running things in the Kings absence), and now there was going to be a change. The whispering in the shadows during his collapse, are now quiet, and the King is now back in charge, but now he has more in his mental faculties than he had prior to his collapse. He has a positive attitude toward Bible doctrine. I'll bet he called out one more command - 'Bring Daniel.', and Bible class in the palace started and continued for the rest of Nebuchadnezzar's life.
God has many arrows. He does not have to bring us all to an extreme mental condition in order to get our attention. To some it may be the loss of a loved one, or a bad divorce, or a bad marriage, or a bad singles state, or whatever. It may be a disaster like a flood or hurricane that gets your attention. It may be a physical condition, aids, cancer, something else, maybe a broken bone. Still others may be involved in more dramatic events, a high jacking, a war, a hostage situation in a restaurant or a bank holdup. Still others may find God from behind bars after losing everything in a court proceeding.
But, and this is a big but, these things are not always disciplinary events to get your attention. Any spiritually mature believer can be exposed to any of these pressures and for a lot of reasons. We cannot judge anyone because of their circumstances. We just do not know. Well in some cases it might be obvious if we have a lot of facts, but in general we are not to judge, nor second guess Gods will and design for any person.
Pressures hit us in life for three reasons. First (warning to self), to get our attention because we are not doing what we need to be doing spiritually, ie studying Bible doctrine. Second (blessing to self), to test our faith as growing believers and to demonstrate to us that God is still what we need to focus on in life, not things. This testing is designed for blessing to us. Third (warning to others), to demonstrate to others the things that can happen to them if they do not get their act together.
In doctrine there is blessing and prosperity. Not to say that hard times might happen, because they just might, but regardless of your circumstances in life, Bible doctrine in the soul is your ticket to a winning life. The end result is 'always' a winning result.
Out of doctrine, either permanently of even temporarily (you know that there are a lot of people who just do not take Bible study seriously on a daily basis. They kind of fit it in when it is convenient, or ignore it altogether), then your life will end up in misery - for sure. You might even have a prosperous life to some extent. Nebuchadnezzar had a prosperous life, but it was not what he wanted in the end result. It was what God wanted - the development of the Chaldean Empire. The result of your life is always there for some reason. If you are negative then God is using you to teach or test others, or even prepare the way for something else in history that will be beneficial to others. But every negative person is nothing more than a link in history, a connection to something else that others will benefit from and you will lose out on permanently. Might as well lay yourself down in the mud puddle and let others walk across you. Because as a negative person, that is all you are good for - a stepping stone for someone else.
The history books are full of people who are just that. They , as negative types, provided the link of an idea, or the formation of the movement of peoples that created history as we know it, or something that has gotten us from Adam until now. There is only one history book in heaven that is important, and that is the one with the winners in it. All other books will disappear one day.
As long as you are alive, there is hope for advancement to spiritual maturity. Nebuchadnezzar found it but only after fighting it for a long time. He found it the hard way. Better to find it the easy way and enjoy life, and avoid the heartache of judgment.
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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