STUDY OF DANIEL
In the previous chapters of Daniel, God patiently attempts to reach Nebuchadnezzar with the gospel. Repeatedly Nebuchadnezzar appears to make strides in the right direction, but then relapses. Finally, in Chapter 4, God is forced to take drastic steps.
As a result, it seems that Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the True God.
We must never forget that God is as patient with us as He was with Nebuchadnezzar. Even though we slip and fall, He still loves us.
He wants to save us more than we want to be saved. Remember that everything in the Book of Daniel, including this story of Nebuchadnezzar, is focusing on Last Day Events.
The only people who will overcome in the final days are those who have a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ, individuals who have been truly converted to God. Before Daniel gives us the graphic details of last-day events in the prophetic section, he makes certain that we understand the need for conversion.
The first to understand about Chapter 4 of Daniel, is that Chapter 4 is the only chapter in the Book of Daniel not written by Daniel himself. This is Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony; the story of how he found God. The very fact that he tells all the sad details of his resistance to the God in Heaven is evidence that he had finally experienced a change of heart
In Nebuchadnezzar tells us what he hopes to reveal through his testimony. “To show the signs and wonders that the High God hath wrought toward me”.
(Daniel 4:5) reveals that Nebuchadnezzar had another dream, and says he made a decree to bring all the wise men of Babylon before him so they could interpret the dream. In verse 4:7 they could not make known the interpretation of the dream.
Note: In Chapter 2, the wise men could not tell Nebuchadnezzar what his dream was. Now in Chapter 4, they know the dream, but they still cannot tell the interpretation to the king. With each new revelation of the True God, the wise men become more stubborn in their rebellion against him, while in contrast Nebuchadnezzar yields to the God of Heaven.
In at last, the king calls Daniel in before him to interpret the dream.
In Nebuchadnezzar begins to relate to Daniel regarding the vision he had:
a. He saw a tree whose height was great.
b. The tree grew, was strong, the height reached unto Heaven, and the sight to the end of all the earth.
c. The tree was to be or cut down.
d. Leave the stump, with a band of iron and brass.
e. The stump was to be with the dew of Heaven.
f. Let his portion be with the beast in the grass of the earth.
g. Let his heart be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him.
h. Till seven times pass over him.
In we learn the purpose of the dream. “That the living may know that the most high ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.”
Note: Only when people allow God to rule their lives are they truly converted.
says Daniel “was astonished for one hour”.
Note: Daniel knew this was a difficult message for Nebuchadnezzar.
He knew that the king could have him killed for stating what this dream clearly revealed. Daniel did not gloat that a calamity was about to fall upon Nebuchadnezzar, but showed the real concern of a true servant of God. God’s people never rejoice when the wicked suffer. They have pity and concern for people who are outside of Christ.
In Daniel interprets the dream, saying the represents King Nebuchadnezzar, and “They shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beast of the field… . shall eat grass of oxen… . wet thee with the dew of heaven”.
Note: What a terrible prediction! Nebuchadnezzar was to go He who thought he could rule the world so well was to behave like a dumb animal.
Verse 4:25 tells us that God hopes Nebuchadnezzar will learn through this experience of insanity, “That the most high ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will”.
Note: Nebuchadnezzar must learn the basic gospel truth. He must be willing for God to rule his life. It is God who sets up kings; it is God who dethrones kings. Again the message of God comes through: God is in control of world events, and that the heavens do
The next several verses tells us that Daniel warns the king to “Break off thy sins by righteousness”. The only way that Nebuchadnezzar could avoid the tragedy before him was to turn his heart over completely to God.
Only by total commitment of his life to God would he be able to avert the coming calamity. He must acknowledge God as the rightful ruler of his life.
“The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar”.
Note: God is so patient. Even after His fateful warning, He waited one full year, hoping Nebuchadnezzar would respond. Sometimes God has to let people sink to the depths before they recognize their need of Him.
This is what happened to Nebuchadnezzar. The prophecy was fulfilled to the letter and the king was insane for seven years.
Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity returned seven years later and in we see the last words of his testimony. “I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of Heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment and those that walk in pride He is able to abase” (verb-cause to feel shame).
Note: It took God over thirty years to reach Nebuchadnezzar, but at long last Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged Him as the True God. No longer did Nebuchadnezzar exalt himself; instead he exalted and praised the God of Heaven. Once people recognize God as the rightful ruler of their lives, they have true peace.