Read Daniel 4:28-37
28All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?"
31The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."
33Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
34At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"
36At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (NIV)
Here is the last we will hear of Nebuchadnezzar as a living king in the book of Daniel. The next chapter will begin with Nebuchadnezzar’s son. The exact timing of the prophecy of Daniel is the moment that the king looks out over the city from his palace and reflects on how great he is and what great deed he has done. Nebuchadnezzar was a great builder and some believe he was more proud of his buildings than his military conquests. But he was proud of put all the effort on himself.
It is in this moment of false pride that he is struck down. Now we must remember that Nebuchadnezzar is the story teller her. He is sharing this from his own experience.
We read that after the 7 times had passed, he “raised [his] eyes toward heaven” and was restored. This is a common theme. We see it in the story of the prodigal son. Jesus there says the son “came to his senses.” Each of these points to a realization of truth. And that truth is that God is over all.
The focus here is on God’s grace. We see that once Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges his trust and love of God, he is not only restored, but blessed in greater measures. When we come to Christ, there are additional blessings we receive in life. And they are not always monetary as we see in this story. But there are blessings that come with walking with God.
This is really a parable about our own lives and the countries we live in. We can see the periods of madness and futility that goes on. I am amazed at how our companies operate where they do not seem to be bothered by millions of dollars of loss through theft and fraud. Even our government seems to not worry about it. We seem to not worry about the amount of corruption that goes on.
And we have forgotten how to live lives of grace and forgiveness. Our culture today wants to destroy and never forgive. Christ in teaching us to pray put in the phrase “forgive us as we forgive others.” We are moving far from that. God will give us many chances, but too many people today do not want to adhere to that. And the result is a madness.
The only solution to much madness in the world is to look to heaven and submit ourselves to God, who controls all. The madness of the world can make it seem like God is not in control, but it is God who brings order out of the chaos in each of our lives.
And so, we need to be like the king her and tell our story to others so that they can see the wonder of God.
What is your story? How has God reclaimed your life? Have you shared it with others? How are you praising, exalting and glorifying God each day? It is good to contemplate on these questions every now and then. They remind us of God’s love for us and one of our purposes, to share the love of Christ with all we meet.
Blessings and Peace