Daniel 4 (Part 2)



All right, let's open with a word of prayer and then we'll get started. Most gracious Heavenly Father, thank you once again for this day that you have made.
We should rejoice and be glad in that. We ask that you would open our hearts and minds to hear what your word has to say.
I pray that, Father, you would guide my thoughts, guide my speech, and pray that, Father, whatever I say, say in glory and honor to you and your
Son, and that, Father, it would be clear. In Christ's name, amen. All right. Daniel, chapter 4.
I'm not going to read the whole chapter again. I'm just going to pick up at verse 19 and read to the end of the chapter, and I'm going to try to finish this chapter today.
What chapter? 4. Daniel 4. Daniel 4. The beginning of verse 19.
Verse 19. This is the interpretation, O King, and this is the decree of the Most High. The king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descending from heaven, saying,
Chop down the tree, destroy it, yet leave it stumped with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it and a new grass of the field, and let him be drenched with the dew of the heaven, and let him share with the beast of the field until seven periods of time pass over.
This is the interpretation, O King, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my
Lord the King, that you may be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place be with the beast of the field, and you will be given to grass to eat like the cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the
Most High is the ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever he wishes, and in that it was commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is the heavens that rules.
Therefore, O King, may my advice be pleasing to you. Break away from your sins and do righteousness, and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor in case that you might be prolonged of your prosperity.
All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king, and twelve months later as he was walking on the roof of the royal palace, the king reflected and he said, is this not battle on the great which
I myself was built as a royal residence by the might of my power for the glory of my majesty?
While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice came from heaven saying, King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is decreed, sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be like the beast of the field, and you will be like the cattle and eat the grass for seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the most highest ruler over the realm of mankind bestows on it whomever he wishes.
And immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled, and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like the cattle, and his body became drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had been grown like eagle's feathers and his nails like the bird's claws.
But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised up my eyes towards 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.
His kingdom endures from generation to generation, and all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing to him, but he does according to his will in the heavens and among the inhabitants of the earth, and no one can ward his hand off when he puts to it or say to him, what have you done?
And 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, my sovereignty and surpassing greatness was added to me.
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and honor the king of heaven, for all his works are true and his ways are just, and he is able to humble those who walk in pride."
Well, once again, this is somewhat of a disturbing passage to what
God did to a man who was very prideful. And that, if you wanted to just put a label on this chapter, it would be,
God deals with human pride. That's what it is. He was one of the most prideful men we'll see in the
Bible, and God dealt with him in such a way that he was able to humble, and it says at the end, he is able to humble those who walk in pride.
Maybe we'll have time to talk about this, was he converted, was he not, and I know that there's many perspectives on that, you know, of how we understand that.
But ultimately, this is God fulfilling what he said he was going to do. Last week, we got to where he told
Daniel the dream, Daniel is now interpreting that dream, and he even says, hey, don't let, this is where we ended off last week.
He said, Daniel, whatever it means, don't let it bother you.
And we, if we remember, I've said multiple times that I believe that the writer of Psalm 119 is
Daniel. And once again, you have that, I think it's in the second stanza where it says, I will have to stand,
I stand boldly before the kings of the earth and tell them the truth.
Well here it is, Daniel, he was appalled, one, was this the most powerful man on the planet at the time?
From what we know, yes, from what the scripture has revealed, the known world, Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful man.
But then at the same time, he was alarmed in what he was saying because of his care and his love for Nebuchadnezzar.
We're going to see how he responds here to Nebuchadnezzar is much different to how he's going to respond,
I think it's in chapter six, to Belshazzar. When he stands before Belshazzar, Belshazzar messes in his pants, and we'll talk about that because that's exactly what it says, it says his hip joints and his loins let loose.
Our text in chapter six says his knees knock. That ain't what it says in the Hebrew, it says he messed in his drawers.
And he doesn't even, he doesn't even give him any compassion. He just basically says, keep your gifts for yourself, you're dead tonight.
Well in this case, he cares about Nebuchadnezzar. He has developed a relationship with Nebuchadnezzar.
We don't know what time frame this is, okay? We don't know, had
Nebuchadnezzar been in power 30 years, 20 years,
I personally think it's after 17 years. And the reason being is
I think this took place well after the actual fall of Jerusalem at 586.
So if the first deportation would have been around 605, 603, depending on how you want to do your, to 586, and then you have a time frame of him actually becoming great, then it would be after that.
So I say after 17 years, remember, Nebuchadnezzar, when I say only, he did only reign the
Babylonian Empire for 43 years, so this would be well into half of his time to have all of his subjects tell him what a great and wonderful man he is, right?
Was he a great man? Yes! What does it say about this tree?
Matter of fact, it talks about this tree, he was benevolent to those around him.
It says that he, what does it say? The beast of the field found comfort in him. We talk about a tree and it having fruit and people finding shade, that means that man was beneficial and he was good.
Was he harsh to those who went against him? Well of course, what dictator isn't? But he was industrious, he had architectural genius, and he was good with trade from what we do know from Babylon and Babylonian history.
He was great. So he, people found comfort and they found protection in him by what that tree says.
What does a good, let me clarify that. What does a benevolent and trustworthy monarch do to his subjects?
He will provide food for them, and he will protect them, you're right, protect them.
And that's what he did. Nebuchadnezzar didn't have to worry about any of those surrounding armies trying to come in and try to invade him.
Why? Well he killed them all. And as he went in and he took over those places, he did enslave them.
But those that submitted, Nebuchadnezzar took care of them. And if y 'all need to read through the book of Jeremiah, Jeremiah time and time again talks about how
Nebuchadnezzar was raised up for the purpose of being a scourge to the people of God because of their disobedience, they were covenant breakers.
But it says that Nebuchadnezzar is my servant. He says he is going to rule over everything of the known world, including the beast of the field.
You can look, it's in Jeremiah 27 through 29, actually I would read 25 through 29 in there.
And it talks about how beneficial he was. And it also says there in that passage that because Jeremiah was faithful to tell the people of God to put their neck under the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar and to do what
God was using him for, which was to be a discipline, a stick to them, to strike them.
If you would just put your neck under his yoke and do what he says do, it will go good for you.
Nebuchadnezzar knew what Jeremiah was preaching because when he goes in there and he lays waste to Jerusalem, he tells his captain, you take
Jeremiah, you give him an allowance every week, you see that he eats food from my table and he goes anywhere he wants to go and you do it with my protection.
Because he has basically been saying that I'm the man for God. So Nebuchadnezzar had already been dealt with three times, this is the third time in the book of Daniel.
But how often had he heard the preaching of Jeremiah confirming this? Time and time and time again.
So now Daniel is going to give him the interpretation and he says here in verse 20, the tree that you saw became large and grew strong, whose heights reached the sky and was visible to all the earth, whose foliage was beautiful, its fruit was abundant and was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt and in whose branches the birds of the sky lodged.
It is you. It is you. Once again, here it is. It's telling you exactly how beneficial that Nebuchadnezzar had been, not only to the
Babylonian empire but to those surrounding. And he said you have grown great and strong and that's true.
Your majesty has become great and reached to the sky and your dominions to the end of the earth. Once again, it had gone to the farthest reaches of the known world at the time
Babylon had been conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. And he is, under Babylonian history, he is the greatest of all kings.
And obviously it didn't last long, it only lasted about 80 years, the Neo -Babylonian, only lasted about 80 years, but he was the man.
Then verse 23, in that the king saw an angelic watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven saying chop down the tree, destroy it, leave the stump and its root in the ground and put a band of iron or bronze around it in the new grass of the field and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven.
Let him share with the beast of the field until seven periods of time pass over him. This is the interpretation of the king.
So here it is. He tells him, okay, there's going to be this angelic being in your vision, came down, chopped this tree down, left it to a stump but left its root and he put a golden band around it.
I think last week we asked anybody who knows anything about doing trees or what you do to keep something from sprouting, they put a band of iron or an aluminum cap and it keeps it from shooting out and the sprouts from coming out.
That's basically what they're saying. Hey, chop this tree down, put something around it so it doesn't expand, but still leave its root and its stump.
The reason why they want to leave the root and the stump from an arborist standpoint is at some point you're going to want it to sprout and you're going to want it to grow again and all you have to do is take the band off and it'll start doing what it's intended to do, which is grow.
Well here it is. He's going to now give him the interpretation in verse 24 of that.
This is the interpretation, O king. This is the decree of the most high which has come upon my lord, the king.
You will be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place will be with the beast of the field and you will be given over to the grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with dew for seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the most high is the ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever he wishes.
All right, we're going to stop it right there. Okay, now he's not going to chop this tree down, he's going to take this thing that he's chopped down and he's going to make him eat like grass in the field.
Now, there has been over, I'd probably say, the last hundred, maybe 125 years, there's been lycanthropy, which is where people act like wolves.
It is a known disorder where people begin to grow hair, fingernails.
Some people think that's what took place here. Not like zooanthropy, like you had these nutbags on TV that said, hey,
I'm going to identify as a werewolf and then the chick gets on TV, I don't know if y 'all saw it, and goes, ohhhh.
These people with lycanthropy actually begin to have characteristics, like it's actually a disorder.
That's not what I think happened here. I don't think he became lycanthropic or however you want to say it.
I believe the curse of God made him begin, on his hands and feet, crawling like a beast, chewing on the grass with his face in the ground because it doesn't say anything about him looking up into the sky or anything until he recognizes who the most high is.
In absolute degradation, God made him look at the ground. I believe it was for seven years.
The reason why I believe it was for seven years is if we let scripture interpret scripture inside the context of the book of Daniel, when we get to Daniel chapter nine and you get to Daniel chapter twelve, he says a time, a times, and a half a times.
How we understand that, and this will help you when we get to that, a time would be one year, times would be two years, and this is plus, and then times times and a half a year.
So what would that equal? Three and a half years. That's going to be significant as we get through the book and we get to what
I believe points to revelation. So, if we take, based on what we know, what he said here, seven periods of time, that would be seven years.
If you disagree and think it's seven months, that's fine, but it's hard for me to believe that for seven months he crawled around on the ground, that that was going to be enough for a prideful man.
Nowhere do you see in scripture the times times half a times or a period of time, speaking of a month.
So that's why I say it's seven years. If you disagree with me, that's fine. We know this, at the end of that seven periods, what did
Nebuchadnezzar do? He raised his head. But what did he do for those seven periods?
Well, you think it's seven months or seven years, what did he do? He walked around like a beast, and not only did he walk around like a beast, it says that his fingernails, we get to the end, his fingernails grew long like nails of a wolf, and his hair on his back grew like feathers.
That is not lycanthropic, okay? Their testosterone gets up and the hair grows.
This man actually looked like a beast of the field. This is the curse of God on him, the scourge of God on him for his unwillingness to recognize who put him in his place, and ultimately
God puts him in his place. So it says in verse 26, and in that it was commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is heaven that rules over you.
Hey, look, this oracle of judgment, he says, look,
God is going to be gracious to you. He is not going to leave you looking at the ground, eating dirt and grass, and looking like a beast.
At some point, God is going to, he assures you that he is going to restore you to your rightful position once you realize who put you in that position.
Honestly, I think that just goes right over Nebuchadnezzar's head.
He's telling him he could avoid this. I'm going...
In 27? The dream is for sure. I know what you're saying.
Is this, I was going to get to that, but seeing how you jumped ahead, we'll get there. No, no, no, that's fine, because I know exactly what you're saying.
Is this an oracle like when Jonah went to Nineveh and says, hey, in 40 days,
Nineveh is going to be overthrown? Is this that oracle? I say no, because the dream is for certain.
The dream has already told him the beginning through the end. So is, from Daniel's perspective,
Daniel's saying maybe, maybe God will. Does Daniel really know what
God actually will do? But we know this. It's God who raises one up.
The reason I moved up is because Ms. Deborah was in the way. So that Daniel can say maybe, and he tells him maybe if you do these things,
God might. And what were those things? Well, because he says, hey, he had, where were you at?
27. Break away. He says, break away now from your sins. There is a call to repentance.
No doubt. Turn away from your sins. Well, what were those sins? Whatever his unrighteousness, whatever his unrighteousness was, and what is repentance?
It's turned from doing unrighteousness or turned from unbelief and turned to belief.
And he is saying you need to turn from the unbelief of believing that you're the one that put yourself in that position.
You're the one that's had the military campaigns. You're the one that's had this architectural genius. You're the ones that set up the road system inside Babylon.
It's you. No, no, no, no. You need to turn from that belief and turn to true belief that it's
God who has done all of this for you. Look, man, Daniel had already had, gave him the one dream.
It's you're, you're the head, but there's someone that's going to come over and wipe you out. And then the next person is going to get wiped out and the next person is going to get wiped out.
And then the next one. And then there's, and what's going to wipe out the last one is a stone cut without hands, which is none other than the
Messiah's kingdom, be God himself in human flesh, right over the prideful, arrogant king.
The only, only thing we can say about Nebuchadnezzar we know is he's impressed with the miraculous. He's impressed when the dreams are told to him.
He's impressed when there's four men in the fire. I've been impressed too. Okay. I mean, don't take much to impress a knucklehead like me, that would have been awesome to see.
And he's impressed again that Daniel actually knows the interpretation of this dream.
And I believe, and Mike, if you disagree with me, that's fine. I don't think this is an Oracle of an attempt to get him to turn because we know what the outcome is.
It already says, once you do this, then God will, God assures your kingdom. Yes, sir. Well, you look at it at the beginning, you know,
Daniel makes a promise, he doesn't say this is from the Lord. Yeah. He is encouraging him.
Hey, and I wouldn't even say in so much as he is encouraging him to, hey, quit doing unright, quit doing right, to show mercy to the poor.
I believe, and I could be wrong at this too, but by him saying, show mercy to the poor, that the possibility of what
Daniel has, I mean, what Nebuchadnezzar has done is he has built his kingdom on oppressing the poor.
That's how I understand that. If you look at all through the prophets, you'll see this continual pattern through the prophets of they were continually, they were continually oppressing the poor and God always condemned that.
Do not oppress the poor. And the prophets actually were mostly prophesying to the people of Israel.
But what were they, what are we all to not do? Don't oppress the poor.
I mean, if, if Nebuchadnezzar did 15 million bricks is from what history says he did.
How do you think he made those bricks? By enslaving the poor, by enslaving the poor.
And he's saying, look, break away from that in case there might be a prolonging of your process.
In case now, did he turn from his iniquities and show mercy to the poor once he raised up his head?
I don't know. We ain't got there yet. And we may not get there.
No, but I, I, you, you could be right. I don't believe that because the, the, the dream is for certain.
The outcome is for certain. The outcome is this, that when you repent, whenever that is, seven times, whatever that seven times is, your kingdom will be assured back to you.
And it will. He says, look, God, you're, Daniel understood that Nebuchadnezzar was the golden head and he knew that it wasn't, he was not going to lose his kingdom based on losing his mind.
Daniel understood that the, how he was going to lose his kingdom was going to be, or how
Babylon, Babylon was going to fall was not from him losing his mind. It was going to be by another kingdom coming in and overrunning it.
Because remember it said, you're the head, but one inferior to you is going to come and overtake you.
So Daniel knew that. I mean, Daniel is not a forgetful man, nor is he a stupid man.
He's a very smart man, full of wisdom. So he knows that it's not over for Nebuchadnezzar, but he is still telling him, this is what's an offense to a holy
God. You're sinning. And not just your little, what we would call little picadillo sins, but the iniquity, which means the continual pattern of disobedience and rebellion against God.
We need to make a distinction between sin, trespass, and iniquity.
Okay. And I'm going to try to make this quick. A sin is a violation. Here's the standard of God.
Okay. Right here.
Here's where we're supposed to meet. This is what he requires of us. Okay. This is what he says we must do.
When we fall short, that's what we would call a sin.
Right? What does it say? What is a sin? Failing to carry out the transgression of the law.
Failing to do what the law requires for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
But, when we talk about a trespass, God says, you go here and you go no further.
Oh, well, we're going to go past what God says. If this was a fence and this is where God says don't go, you have now trespassed.
Mike has a fence around his new property and he says, if you don't come on it, and I walk through the gate, it doesn't matter if I step right here or I go 100 yards on his property.
Have I trespassed his property? Okay. That's the difference between sin and trespass.
Iniquity is a failure to give any rip about any of this and just letting it continue to fester within you.
Basically, it's your moral corruption. That's how I understand it. And he's saying, you need to break away from your iniquities and show mercy on the poor in case that your prosperity be prolonged.
And then verse 28. All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. He has been warned.
He didn't care. He didn't give a rip. I thought about this passage yesterday.
I was going down, I was going down J. Turner Butler.
I was heading to look at one of my jobs and I got off at Southside Boulevard.
And I remember I used to go over there because there's clover leaves right there. I used to take my motorcycle and we would see how fast we could go around the clover leaves.
We got down there dragging our knees and all that. So I always knew there's police sitting under there.
And here I come yesterday and I got off and there he was, he was sitting and I wasn't speeding.
I was like, never fails as I said. But then on my way back,
I failed to remember that that man was sitting there and I come flying up Southside Boulevard and I look down and I was doing 63 miles an hour.
I look down, I went, yeah, and he turned his lights on. I was thankful he got the guy in front of me, but I went, you know what?
I failed to remember. That was a warning. When you come back this way, don't be speeding.
Man, I was glad he got the guy in front of me though. But that was just a reminder. I thought about this. You know, Nebuchadnezzar, here was, he'd been warned.
The warning signs were there, right? The warning signs were there and he failed to heed the warning.
I don't know if y 'all have ever been up in the mountains or any type of curvy roads where it shows the little squiggly, you know, arrow or the one going this way and it shows a truck tilting over and all that.
Are those saying your death is imminent? Actually, they're not though, but it's saying if you don't, you will die.
So it's a warning sign. It's a warning sign. Yeah, it doesn't say, oh, you've gone too far, you're all going to die.
It don't say that, but we should think that way. You're right. That should be the warning. If you go any faster, you're going to fly off the mountain.
That's a warning sign. It's a warning sign to tell us don't go any faster, don't go any further.
If there's an orange barrier and there's a cliff and you say I don't care about the barrier and you go off, well, yeah, the warning's over.
You went past too far and you will die. But here's the warning sign. He got the warning sign.
He didn't heed the warning sign. Twelve months later, twelve months later, hey, do you think this had anything in his mind at this point?
Huh? Nope. As a matter of fact, what we know about Nebuchadnezzar, he gave it 24 hours and he went about doing his own thing.
People coming to him saying, oh, king, live forever. Every time somebody came in his presence, bowed down, yep, old brown nosing, yeah, old king, live forever.
How many of them do you reckon came in there time after time after time and he had forgotten, oh, how great and good you are, king.
Look at your military campaigns. You are the greatest. You're the man. You're to be worshipped.
What we know about him is he didn't take down that 90 -foot statue of himself.
Well, twelve months later, he's walking on the roof of his royal palace and the king reflected and said, is this not
Babylon the Great? Hey, was this not Babylon the Great? Let's think about it. Yes, Babylon was great.
Is not this Babylon the Great, which, uh -oh, here he is, which I myself have built as a royal residence by my might and my power and for the glory of my majesty, who gave him the mind to do that?
God did. Who gave him the military campaigns to do what he did?
It was God. God did it. Matter of fact, when you go back and you think, man, you've got to read Jeremiah and Jeremiah, he talks about that.
It is God who is going to subdue all this long before this Nebuchadnezzar had come into Jerusalem yet.
Before the first deportation, Nebuchadnezzar is going to rule over the world and it's God who's going to give him the ability to do so.
Before it ever happened. And here it is, he's walking on the roof of his house and he says, hey, this is me, it's all about me,
I did this with my hands, it is for my glory and my majesty. And verse 31, and while the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice came from heaven saying
King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it has been declared, sovereignty has been removed from you and you will be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place will be like the beast of the field and you will be given to grass to eat like the cattle.
Seven feet of time will pass over you until you recognize that the most high is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever he wishes.
And immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle and the body was drenched from the dew until the hair was grown like eagle's feathers and his nails like bird's claws.
Hey, we ain't talking about the lycanthropy as something that takes place over time.
It says, what did it say? Immediately. Immediately. Imagine that, he hears that, there's no doubt in my mind at that point he remembered exactly what
Daniel had told him. Because it's verbatim. It's verbatim what Daniel had told him, not only is it verbatim what
Daniel told him, it's verbatim what the dream he heard that gave him so much consternation that he needed those people to come in, the magicians and soothsayers to come in and try to explain it to him.
And once again, I still believe those people knew. They just didn't have the intestinal fortitude to tell their king, hey man, this isn't about you.
Because it was very clear, you're talking about a tree and then it talks, it goes from being tree to him.
Tree to him. And it talked about that person's royalty being restored.
So there's no doubt in my mind at this point Nebuchadnezzar's like, I have made a huge mistake.
And it says immediately it was fulfilled. Whatever this curse that God put on him, it wasn't a progression.
It was immediately eating grass, eating dirt, crawling around on all fours, and obviously he was taken away from his palace.
I believe that Daniel's probably the one who ruled in this place. Did y 'all ever think about this though?
God protected the Babylonian kingdom for seven years. You don't think word got out?
Hey man, king's lost his mind. He's gone cray cray. He's gone crazy.
The most powerful man on the planet's out there chewing on the grass. King vacated his throne, he didn't get it back.
That's right. And not only did they get it back, but then those around that you had been a scourge to, they see the opportunity to then rise up and come against you.
That's how Nineveh fell in 612. In 612 when
Nineveh fell, Ashurbanipal was the, he was probably the best, most ruthless and longest reigning of the
Assyrian empire. Ruthless, but he knew how to rule and subdue his people. When he died, the kingdom began to fall.
That was in I think 626 or 627, somewhere around there. And as that happened, the kingdom began to fall.
Well, the Medes, the Persians, the Scythians, all those, the Babylonians, they all start figuring out how they can get in on some get back on what they had done.
Remember, they were so ruthless, they had cleats made with spikes. So after they killed or subdued their enemies, they stomped on them like this with them to smash their flesh and bone like mud.
That's how they made, they dammed up rivers with the heads of their enemies.
And if that river ran into a city, they dammed it up a little bit down the way so the river started turning red and they're wondering, uh -oh, what's going on?
And they follow it up to see what's up the river and it's a pile of heads, meaning here comes the
Assyrians. Well, that's what, once Ashurbanipal, those men start gathering, that's how they overthrew
Nineveh. It actually wasn't a single group of people, it was a group, a single person, it was a group of people that overthrew in 612
Nineveh. Well, this doesn't happen to Babylon. God protects it, but why?
Because in the dream it says, when you learn, I will then establish your sovereignty again.
And it says here, but at the end of that, Nebuchadnezzar, I raised my eyes towards heaven and my reason returned to me and I blessed the most high and praised the honored him who lives forever for his dominion is an everlasting dominion.
His kingdom endures from generation to generation 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 the earth, that no one can ward off his hand or say to him, what have you done?
Look, now Nebuchadnezzar has realized, however, he said it was going to take seven periods of time to do that.
And now he has realized it was God that put him in the position he was in. It was God that gave him the ability to do everything it is.
And now that he has recognized that, he looks up to heaven, almost like the prodigal son in some way, where it says he came to his senses.
Well, in this case, Nebuchadnezzar, God's determining factor of how long it was going to take to subdue the mind of this man, is it has taken its place.
This was what some would say, and the new covenant would be to the believer would be the effectual call.
God will use whatever means he has to do to get you to where you're going to do what he said for you to do.
Think about Jonah. Jonah was trying to go a thousand miles the opposite way. God said, no, no, no, no.
You're going to go back and you're going to preach in Nineveh. He said, no, no, no, I don't want to. Jonah was a racist. We don't like to hear that.
Jonah was a racist. He wanted that. What's that? That's right. Because they were, not only were they ruthless, but because they were enemies of God.
And if they were enemies of God, let them burn in hell. That's basically what he said. Well, God said,
OK, you're going to go back and you're going to preach there. Oh, hey. Oh. Oh.
Yeah. And then he spit up like a goober up on the shore. And then he makes a three day journey in a few hours.
So man, God made his servant do what he said he was going to do. He did.
And then he went outside the gate and complained that God had provided him shade and all kinds of stuff.
And he, Jonah's a weird dude, man. Jonah's a weird dude. But regardless, he did, he accomplished his goal.
In this case, God's goal was accomplished through the turning him absolutely crazy.
It says, and at that time, my reason returned to me, my majesty and splendor were restored to me with the glory of the kingdom, my counselors, my nobles, they began seeking me out.
So I was a sad, re -established my sovereignty, surpassing greatness was added.
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, exalt and honor the king of heaven for all of his works true and his ways are just.
And here it is. He is able to humble those who walk in pride. Think about anything.
And we got about five minutes. Think about anything that you can do better than someone else who's given you the ability to do that.
God. God. I mean, probably the most famous mixed martial artist man to ever walk the planet was
Bruce Lee. He was the first. Who gave that man the ability with a pair of nunchucks to put sandpaper on the end of them and people throw matches and he could strike the match.
Who gave him the eye and hand coordination to do that? Or to be with the ping pong champion to the world and him with those nunchucks to hand and eye coordination to hit the ping pong balls with those nunchucks.
God did. God did. Who gives the ability for some surgeon to learn how to take a pig's artery or aorta or whatever you want to call it and put it into the heart of a human being and make it work?
God. God. God. And they are some of the most sports athletes, lawyers, doctors, are some of the most prideful people you'll ever meet in your life.
Huh? Sure. Who gave me? I did this.
No, wait a minute. God gave you the brain to do that. God gave you the brain to do that.
And every time they, God has given somebody the ability to do some gift or some talent and they don't bow their knee to King Jesus, they are storing up wrath for the day of wrath when the righteous judgment of God will be revealed.
And that goes for young, old, it does not matter. You don't bow your knee to King Jesus and recognize that he is the one who is giving you the very breath that you breathe.
The saliva that lubricates your throat. What a gift. And you don't bow your knee to King Jesus, it's like taking a coin and you put it in a bank and it begins to draw interest.
Well, it's like taking that coin and you put it into the bank of wrath and you're, it's compounding interest daily.
And one day, if you don't repent and you don't recognize there's a God in heaven who gives and takes away, then you're going to one day have that wrath poured out on your head.
So, was Nebuchadnezzar converted? Good question.
I say no. He just recognized a higher God for a period of time. That's right.
Amongst all the other gods. Yes. And we don't have time to do this, maybe next week
I might, I don't know. If you go back at the beginning, he says,
I called in, remember he is telling this story from the end, starting from the end backwards.
I don't like when people do that. I want everything in order. So he's saying, this is
Nebuchadnezzar and he starts saying, he says, and I, remember he's at, this has already taken place.
So he says, but I had called Belteshazzar Daniel, the one who
I had called and named after what? My gods. Now, did he recognize that there was a supreme
God in heaven that ruled over all of the gods? Yes. It was Daniel's God.
As a matter of fact, we know that he knew that because when he saw the fourth man in the fire, he made a no blasphemy law.
Remember that? He says, no more will anybody ever be able to say anything bad about the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and Daniel.
No more blasphemy. Whoever says anything about their God, who's the God to save from the fire, they'll be chopped in pieces, houses made like dungheets.
That's not conversion. Recognizing the sheer sovereignty of God in all things is not salvation.
We don't know anything after this, this is from scripture, what we know about Nebuchadnezzar.
This is it. The last time we hear about Nebuchadnezzar, this is it. Just like last chapter was the last time we hear about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
And I wonder what happened to all of them. But we know this, idolatry, worship,
Marduk, Nebo, all that continued on in the Babylonian Empire. So if Nebuchadnezzar was really converted, and he really, his heart was really changed, what would have happened to the temple of Marduk?
He got rid of it. What would have happened to the temple of Nebo? It would have been destroyed.
But evil Marduk comes right in, his son, right after him, and just steps right in and things continue on.
Now there was some beneficial things that evil Marduk does and all that, but regardless, idolatry didn't stop.
Idolatry didn't stop. Mike, would you pray us out, brother? I will. For the study of your word,
Paul. I pray that you'll be with us now as we go into the time of worship.
I pray that you'll be with brother Keith. Be with him as his foot's bothering him.
Give him strength. Give him your words to speak. Use him as your messenger of truth.
I pray, Lord, that we would be strengthened as your people and that the lost would be saved. In the name of Christ, we pray.