When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. -Proverbs 11:2 (ESV)
It’s been a week since I last posted. I don’t want to get so busy that I neglect taking the time to reflect on lessons learned from God’s Word and convey them in the form of blog posts. Should I be the only one to read them, at least it shall benefit me as I take time away from the affairs of this world to focus on things of eternal significance (as they spring from the pages of His Word).
For the past few weeks my pastor has embarked on a study of the book of Daniel. The focus has been one of a prophetic nature, as it usually is with Daniel. But a couple of other things have sprung out of those pages to hit me between the eyes. I would like to take a few minutes to focus on one of them: the ego of one King Nebuchadnezzar.
Nebuchadnezzar (for those who may not know) was a King of Babylon (605-562 BC). The Babylonian Empire extended through much of the known world at the time. Its sphere of influence was without parallel. Nebuchadnezzar is a story of a man who had ample opportunity to witness firsthand the awesome power of the one true God in his life and kingdom, yet he often forgot what God had both demonstrated and done for him and his kingdom personally. The recounting of his experiences leave for us an important lesson in how highly we ought to think of ourselves and the importance of crediting God with the glory that is properly due to Him and Him alone.
Nebuchadnezzar received more than just a glimpse of the awesome power of God and yet quickly forgot, reverting to crediting himself for all the good things. Finally, he was made to be like a wild beast for 7 years, acting more like an animal than a man, until he acknowledged the sovereign all-powerful nature of God and turned from his self-absorbed ways to worship the one true God. Rather than interpret the story’s ending remarks by Nebuchadnezzar when his sanity and kingdom were restored, I shall let Eugene Peterson tell it through his writing in The Message:
“At the same time that I was given back my mind, I was also given back my majesty and splendor, making my kingdom shine. All the leaders and important people came looking for me. I was reestablished as king in my kingdom and became greater than ever. And that’s why I’m singing—I, Nebuchadnezzar—singing and praising the King of Heaven:
“Everything he does is right,
and he does it the right way.
He knows how to turn a proud person
into a humble man or woman.” -Daniel 4:36-37