In the book of Daniel in chapter 4 there is a story that is being recounted by King Nebuchadnezzar. King Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon at the time that the Israelites were taken captive there. He had four young Hebrew men in his court that you may have heard of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar had enjoyed great wealth which the king had mistakenly attributed to himself. If you go back and you read chapters 1 – 3 of the book of Daniel, it seems to me that God had tried to get the king’s attention a few times already. In fact chapter 3 gives the story of the 3 young men in that fiery furnace you may have heard about. However, our story today is in chapter 4.
Now this is a recount, a testimony by the king himself.
“King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you! It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.” Daniel 4:1-2
The king had a dream, actually this was his second one that only Daniel would be able to interpret. At first the king had all the wise men in Babylon come to him to try to interpret the dream but they couldn’t. So the king finally sends for Daniel. Now since Daniel had already interpreted dreams for the king, I am not sure why he was the last person that the king sent for, but then, I could say that about my own life too sometimes. Why do I put myself in positions to have to relearn things the Lord has already taught me? I ask the Lord all the time to remind me in my mind of the lessons He has already taught me. Especially the ones that came from some of the hard things in my life. I pray that I will remember those lessons in my mind so I don’t have to relearn by circumstance.
But anyway, Daniel realizes as the king tells him the dream that the dream is about the king himself, and his kingdom. Basically God was trying once more to warn the king in a dream that He was going to get his attention one way or another. In the dream God is trying to tell the king that he, the king is about to lose his mind and be driven from his kingdom to live among the wild animals for seven years. Daniel warns him.
“this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, the you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” Daniel 4:24-25
“Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.” Daniel 4:27
Well the king heard the interpretation but apparently he didn’t really “hear” the interpretation because a year later he was walking along the roof of his palace and praising himself for the kingdom that he had built and for his own might and power when ~
“While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken” the kingdom has departed from you” Daniel 4:31
And immediately the king was driven from his kingdom into the wild and for seven years he lived as a wild animal. In the king’s testimony, he doesn’t really tell how those events took place, how he was driven from the palace, he just tells us that they did. It appears it was insanity of some sort. But he leaves the details of his insanity out. But one thing he has pointed out to us, is that God had given him a way of escape. God had warned the king in a dream that this was going to happen. He had sent messengers, in the way of Daniel to tell him that this would happen. It appears to me that the king could have turned this story around had he heeded Daniels words of warning but he didn’t. I can’t help but think of times in my own life that I can look back on now and see where God was trying to get my attention on a matter and I didn’t heed the warning. I pray that my ear will be more attuned to God’s voice now and that I will heed His warnings when they come to me.
This story does have a happy ending and King Nebuchadnezzar realizes that God is the Most High God and that He is the reason for the blessings that had been bestowed on him. That it was not because of His own will, might and power but that it was because of the Most High.
“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to 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, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation.” Daniel 4:34
God had restored the king’s mind and when He did, the king realized who had rescued him from the depths of his despair. Have you ever known someone who had been rescued from the depths of despair, possibly an addiction, or just a series of some of their own bad choices and when God rescued them from it, when they got their mind back, and they realized that they had been living in a pit but that the Lord was restoring them, they couldn’t help but praise. This was King Nebuchadnezzar and then God blessed him even more than he had before.
“At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble” Daniel 4:36-37
When the king learned that the Most High God was the King of Heaven, was when his kingdom was restored to him. King Nebuchadnezzar finally knew where his blessings came from and he gave great testimony of that.
Don’t you just love a good redemption story? I know I do. I love the fact that God not only restored the king’s sanity, but also his kingdom. And I truly love that King Nebuchadnezzar gave his testimony of his return to sanity and worshipped the Most High!
Friends I will leave you with the first 2 verses of Psalm 91
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:1-2
Turn to this Psalm and continue reading it today and dwell in His shelter and hold fast to Him the one who will rescue, restore and redeem.