Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar ruled the known world and oversaw one of the most glorious kingdoms the world has ever seen. And he knew it. From the hanging gardens to the numerous ornate palaces and temples to false gods Nebuchadnezzar had legitimate reasons to enjoy his reign.
At first Nebuchadnezzar rejected this revelation and blasphemed God. He set up an image to be worshipped that declared by its very existence that Nebuchadnezzar would do all that he could do to prevent God’s will for Babylon to come to pass. He would maintain the nations glory and would defy God and any nation on earth to replace this grand and majestic society.
But then he had another dream. He dreamed of a great tree that provided shade for the earth, habitation and food for animals, and stretched all the way into the heavens. But this tree was being watched by “holy ones”, and at their word the tree was cut down leaving only a stump in the field, exposed to the elements of the weather and to the passing of time. What could this mean? It troubled him and so he called for his wise men.
Finally the chief wise man, Daniel, was able to give an answer. The tree was Nebuchadnezzar and because of his pride he was going to be abased. God would send him dehumanizing delusions, driving him into madness, and he would roam the fields like an animal, out of his mind until such time as God deemed willing to restore him.
This experience forms the basis of a letter that Nebuchadnezzar wrote to the whole world. That letter is found in Daniel chapter 4. He testifies with great humility that it is God who sets up kings and kingdoms and who removes them at His pleasure. It is the God of Daniel who is God, the Most High God working signs and wonders to declare His greatness and man’s lowliness.
The Most High God – His signs, His wonders, His Kingdom, His Dominion – He is forever and only God. And Nebuchadnezzar, similar to Satan and every other proud creature on the earth, exalted himself over above and against God. Nebuchadnezzar said, “I have built” the kingdom, claiming it was all about “my power….honor….and majesty.”
But as he was warned and failed to repent, twelve months after his dream, during a statement he made of absolute pride, God spoke and struck him down into the depths of total insanity. Nebuchadnezzar became as an animal, driven by instinct and a depraved fallen nature to live alone out in the fields like a brute beast.
When the time had passed as God had revealed the king came to his senses and declared this change of heart by proclaiming to the world the praises of God, worshipping Him as sovereign over heaven and earth. He knew that God is sovereign. He was restored to his kingdom and the last we hear from him is that he praises, extols and honors the King of Heaven and he confesses that God will put down the man that walks in pride.
Here in this chapter we learn lessons about depravity that is rooted in pride, delusions that make us believe that we can be in control of our lives and destiny, and the grim reality of our darkened understanding and the futility of defying God. He is the Potter. We are the clay. And He will do as He pleases. To believe otherwise is to be quite totally out of our minds.
Join us this Sunday at 10:30 in Kingsland, Texas, as we worship the Most High God, singing His praises, reading His Word, fellowshipping around His table, and hearing His Holy Word proclaimed. This week the message is titled “Dehumanizing Delusions” from Daniel 4:1-37. Come see God for Who He is, the Most High God, the only Sovereign, Holy, and Gracious King whose Kingdom shall never end.
LISTEN to this message here: Dehumanizing Delusions – Dan. 4:1-37