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Daniel 4: 28 “All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’

31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.’ 33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

34 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

And His kingdom is from generation to generation.

35     All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;

He does according to His will in the army of heaven

And among the inhabitants of the earth.

No one can restrain His hand

Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”

 

4:28

All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar.

God now executes discipline upon Nebuchadnezzar. 

4:29

At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon.

The palace at Babylon had large courts, a throne room and the famous hanging gardens (the gardens of Semiramis), one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  These gardens were a terraced structure with extensive water supply.  This palace stood just inside the double wall of the inner city with eight gates.  The outer wall encircled the city by twenty-seven kilometers.  As Nebuchadnezzar walked in this pomp and circumstance–as he viewed the great temples, the Ishtar Gate, the towering ziggurats–his heart filled with pride

Nebuchadnezzar did not heed Daniel’s warning for an entire year.  God gave him a period of grace.  Now he is about to receive judgment from God. 

4:30

The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

Archaeologists recently discovered documents in which Nebuchadnezzar boasted of the glory of Babylon.  The phrase “I have built” shows his focus on building programs.  This verse speaks of unadulterated pride.  Pride prowls in each one of us.  We are proud of face, place, race and even grace. 

4:31

While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!

As soon as the king uttered his arrogant pride, he heard a voice of divine discipline

4:32

And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

God drove Nebuchadnezzar from the acme of power and reduced him to an animal. 

4:33

That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

Immediately Nebuchadnezzar began to function as an animal.  This was supernaturally imposed. 

4:34

And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

The “end of time” refers to the end of the seven years predicted earlier.  His sanity returned to him at this time. 

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

And His kingdom is from generation to generation.

Nebuchadnezzar continued his tract in the first person.  He lifted his eyes to heaven indicating that he came to his senses about his pride and about who God truly is.  He recognized and accepted that God’s kingdom is eternal and his was temporal.  The qualities of sovereignty and eternity go far beyond the local deities of Babylon. 

4:35

All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;

He does according to His will in the army of heaven

And among the inhabitants of the earth.

No one can restrain His hand

Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

This may indicate that Nebuchadnezzar came to saving faith in Jehovah.  Because God has “dominion,” He has authority to do whatever He pleases.  Whatever God does is right because He has the authority to do it. 

4:36

At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me.

Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity returned to him when he acknowledged the sovereignty of God.  God also restored the glory of his kingdom. 

4:37

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

Nebuchadnezzar learned his lesson.  He acknowledged that God is true and just in His works.  Note the piling up of praise: “praise and extol and honor.”  This is pure worship from the greatest king in the world at that time.  God operates according to a standard of righteousness and truth.  His method of doing things is “just.”  It appears that Nebuchadnezzar is clearly converted

PRINCIPLE: 

Grace always precedes judgment.   

APPLICATION: 

Some of God’s decrees are conditional.  God’s threat of judgment is often conditional.  God sovereignly controls the universe as a person, a Being of relationship.  Some of us will not respond to God other than from His judgment. 

Towards the end of Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity, he said, “I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven.”  That acknowledges God’s authority in his life.  He repented and came to Jehovah as his Savior.  God always responds to repentance.  God will extend His mercy to you, if you are willing to receive it. 

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