The Conversion of a King
Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. ~Daniel 4:37
For years, kings have been considered the highest of human rulers. The idea of a king ruling over people conjures thoughts of a leader who is fearless, wise, strongly influential, decisive, victorious in battle, providing, and to be feared. Kings are men who possess a very strong personality and ego. Many kings in the past succumbed to the vast power that a king is given, and used the office to enrich his personal coffers, oppress both the people he led and conquered, and fancy himself in a life of excessive self-indulgence. King Nebuchadnezzar is one of the greatest of the kings in history. The Bible account of him validates the historicity of the Bible, and also gives us insight into this man. In our devotion this morning, we see how God deals with this king.
We see a king who is eminent.
King Nebuchadnezzar has established himself as one of the greatest kings in history. He is feared as a conqueror. He has built magnificent gardens, water conduits, massive architecture, and infrastructure that showcase his ingenuity. However, he is a proud and conceited man. He has built a 90-foot-tall image of himself on the road to Dura, and issues a command that at the sound of certain music, everyone is to bow to this image. This image was strategically placed so that people for many miles would see it and behold. He is at a place where he gives himself credit for his accomplishments. The most prominent word in his vocabulary is “I.” He is the most eminent man alive, and he is “proud” of it.
We see a king who is enlightened.
He is given a dream about a massive tree under which people have gathered under it, but this tree is abruptly chopped down and the people scattered. Daniel is called in to interpret this dream. Daniel is so astonished that he is speechless for one hour. Daniel reveals to this king that Nebuchadnezzar himself is the great tree that would be chopped down. The dream describes the fall of Nebuchadnezzar. It is God telling him that He has had enough of this king’s pride and arrogance. God hates pride. It is one of the six things the Lord hates, and chief of the seven sins that are abominations. “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” The dream God gave him was a warning to repent of his sin, and to give God the glory for where he was in life. Daniel pleaded with the king to give heed to the dream and humble himself before God.
We see a king who is embarrassed.
Twelve months after he receives this dream, he walks in his palace and boastfully exclaims, “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?” God immediately humbles this king, and brings him down to the level of an animal. He loses his mind, wandering about on his hands and knees, personally unkempt, and eats grass like an animal. He lives in this embarrassing and humiliating condition for seven years. God must deal with sin. God will deal with sin harshly. God will deal with the sin of pride by bringing the proud man very low.
We see a king and his election.
The day came when this king comes to his senses. “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.” He looks up to God! This king finally has come to the place in life where he acknowledges God in his life. I believe what is recorded in Dan. 4:34-37 is his prayer of confession. In this prayer, he is confessing that there is only one God, and this God is a God of truth and judgment. In this prayer, he acknowledges that God has humbled him. We see this king and his conversion! He makes the decision to come to God as his Savior and his Sovereign (the King of Heaven). The last thing recorded about Nebuchadnezzar is this prayer of confession.
This passage is a reminder to us that God loves all men. God wants all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Humble yourself, and look to Jesus as the Author and Finisher of your faith. Salvation begins and is final through Him alone.
Have a humbled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalm 115-118