Daniel 4: 24 - 34
God Humbles the Proud
I remember on one occasion travelling across Western China to a little village on the Tibetan plateau and being astonished at the level of poverty. However, in the midst of the poverty was also great wealth, enjoyed by a select few. Inequality and injustice is a regular feature when you are working and travelling in the developing world.
I heard a worship song recently whose main lyric was ‘He gives and He takes away’. Sometimes it seems that the rich have so much and the poor have so little, and it is hard to take. But ultimately, all things belong to God and He will hold everyone accountable for how they use their possessions.
In this chapter we learn how Nebuchadnezzar the king finally comes to worship God. He has a startling dream about a tree that is destroyed. Daniel reveals to the king that his dream is about himself and that he will be stripped of his glory and sent into the wilderness (v25). However, to his folly, Nebuchadnezzar rejects the interpretation of the dream and pays no attention to it. This was because he did not want to acknowledge anyone greater than himself (v30). It is at this point that everything changes for Nebuchadnezzar. He is driven into the wilderness, just as the dream prophesied, his sanity is taken from him, and he is forced to live with the animals (v33). Then after a long time, he finally acknowledges God as the Most High and his sanity is restored.
There is both a personal and a general lesson in this. None of us should ever be tempted to become high and mighty, because God has His own ways of bringing us to our senses. And we should not be overawed, discouraged or bitter about the rich, powerful and unscrupulous of the world. Their works are all known to God and He deals with them in His own time.
Prayer and Action Prayfully read through Philippians 2: 1-10 asking that He might help you follow the example of the One who set the ultimate example in humility.