Ever seen the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast? This next Wait. . . What moment in history reminds me of that story in many ways. Let’s take a look:
King Nebuchadnezzar was a merciless, self-honoring, idol-worshipping king who took many of the Jewish people captive. Daniel was one of them. So were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Remember them? You can go here to get a quick refresher if you need.
Well, Daniel was soon elevated as ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon because of his God-given ability to interpret dreams (Dan. 2:48). Although Nebuchadnezzar had seen three Jewish men who he had ordered to be burned to death walk out of the fiery furnace untouched, and although he praised God after this “Wait. . .what? moment,” he continued to chase after his own fame, his own abilities, and his own resources, refusing to humble himself and give God the glory instead of himself. Refusing to love someone more than himself.
In the book of Luke, Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14, ESV).
Be humble or be humbled. It is a choice we all have to make.
And King Nebuchadnezzar would be humbled. Read along with me:
While he was proclaiming from the rooftop of the royal palace how awesome he was, a voice fell from heaven: “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will.” Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as
long as eagles’ feathers,
and his nails were like birds’ claws. (Dan. 4:31-33, ESV).
Crazy, right! (No pun intended).
Until Nebuchadnezzar learned his place and humbly accepted that he was a king but not The King, and further, that he was king only because the LORD had allowed him to be, he remained wild-like.
We know that he eventually did become humble because of his words in Daniel 5:34-37, ESV:
“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;
all inhabitants of the the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”
At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My councilors 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.”
He got it. And when he did, the LORD restored his mind and his kingdom. And you can bet, he got a hair cut and a manicure. More greatness was added to Nebuchadnezzar because he now knew his place in relation to the LORD’S and the LORD knew he could handle it.
I wonder if King Nebuchadnezzar would have agreed with King David’s words: “For His anger lasts only a moment but His favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5, NLT).
Mustard Seed Girls, sometimes the LORD needs to discipline us to get us (back) on track so that we can be used in mighty ways for His glory. But it doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us. It is actually quite contrary:
“For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” (Heb. 12:6, NLT)
So if you are in a season of discipline, then:
(1) Know you are loved deeply by the LORD who has accepted you as His daughter
(2) Humble yourself. Know your place and get back to giving honor, glory, and praise to the Only One it belongs to: King Jesus.
He will restore you because His favor for you lasts a lifetime!