Daily Devotional November 2, 2020
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honour the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud” (Daniel 4:37).
In the book of Daniel, we find an interesting story told by the subject himself, King Nebuchadnezzar. He was a pagan king whom God had chosen to discipline His chosen people of Israel. They had turned their backs on God, so God empowered Nebuchadnezzar to take over and establish a great kingdom; “Now I will give your countries to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who is my servant. I have put everything, even the wild animals, under his control” (Jeremiah 27:6). Problem was that Nebuchadnezzar didn’t recognize and refused to acknowledge that his success was not of his own making.
Nebuchadnezzar worshiped many gods and especially the Babylonian god, Marduk. God had revealed Himself to the king on occasions–such as when He gave Daniel the dream and interpretation to it after Nebuchadnezzar had demanded to know what it meant, but refused to divulge the dream itself. God also showed up by rescuing Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace after having refused to worship the ninety foot statue of gold he had created in his likeness. Both times, King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges God as a ‘god’ but not as ‘the only God.’ This pagan king, whom God had chosen to do His bidding, still didn’t understand who it was who was in charge.
Until one day he has another dream. Daniel, this time with much fear and trepidation, once again provides the meaning. God has decided to cause Nebuchadnezzar to go insane and lose his kingdom for a time–seven years to be exact. He will be forced out and will live in the field like a beast and eat the grass of the field; “Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses” (Daniel 4:25b). After Nebuchadnezzar is warned, he is given time to repent; however, within the year he proudly declares, “Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor” (Daniel 4:30). He had neglected the warning and within the hour God delivers His judgement.
He literally loses his mind, is driven from the city and for the next seven years lives in the fields like a wild animal. “After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever” (Daniel 4:34). The most powerful man on the planet, ruler of the most powerful nation on the globe, was humbled. He learned that God may be patient, but He will not be ignored or see His honour given to another. Nebuchadnezzar had been given incredible power, not because he deserved it, not because he was better than everyone else and certainly not because of his devotion to God. God had used him for a time to fulfill His purposes and was fully capable of righting the scales of injustice when His ‘chosen servant’ chose to honour himself rather than acknowledge God’s mighty hand at work.
What lesson did King Nebuchadnezzar learn? He learned to, “praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven”...and isn’t that the lesson we all need to learn?
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!