Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. ~Daniel 4:16
Nebuchadnezzar is recognized historically and biblically as one of the great world leaders and conquerors of the past. His military, political, and economic power was unchallenged during his lifetime. God brought Daniel into his life, and through Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar came to know the Lord. However, God had to deal with the beast that was within Nebuchadnezzar before this happened. This beast, which is the topic of today’s devotion, is the pride within each of us.
We see the trait.
“The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” King Nebuchadnezzar came to the realization of his earthly greatness. At a moment of arrogance and great pride, he took credit for everything that he had accomplished. Pride is an inflated opinion of oneself. Pride is thinking that we are better than we really are. Pride compares itself with other people and is contentious. Pride is not being able to humble ourselves and admit when we are wrong. Pride, at its worst, is when we do not need God and think we can deal with things in our own power.
We see the transgression.
Pride is a sin against God. God says that He hates a proud look. “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 16:5). “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin” (Proverbs 21:4). “Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath” (Proverbs 21:24). Satan’s downfall was his pride. When we are proud, we want to outdo other people. When we are proud, we despise not being the center of things and not being acknowledged. Nebuchadnezzar was proud of his kingdom's growth and greatness, and he considered himself second to none.
We see the tragedy.
“The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.” Pride always goes before our downfall. God humbled Nebuchadnezzar and reduced him to the level of an animal that roamed the earth for several years. His pride brought him down to the level of an animal that walked on its hands and knees. He became like a madman and was anything but human. Pride always goes before a fall. He was miserably humbled before his kingdom subjects, who saw this mighty king reduced down to a senseless and wandering animal. Pride is the beast within us.
We see the triumph.
“And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation.” There is a cure for the curse of pride. Nebuchadnezzar lifted up his eyes to the Lord, confessed his sin, and worshipped the God of Heaven. Daniel told him to break off his sin in righteousness. Nebuchadnezzar humbled himself and told the Lord that there was no god or kingdom greater than God. When he got right with God, he was in his right mind, worshipping and acknowledging God. He acknowledged that God had abased him and gave all honor and glory to God. He ended his life a saved and peaceful man. There is only way to deal with the beast inside of us: humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and He will exalt you in due time.
Have a pride-crucified God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Luke 8-9