Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Humiliation of a King

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
“But all these things did happen to King Nebuchadnezzar.  Twelve months later he was taking a walk on the flat roof of the royal palace in Babylon.  As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘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.’  “While these words were still in his mouth, a voice called down from heaven, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, this message is for you!  You are no longer ruler of this kingdom.  You will be driven from human society.  You will live in the fields with the wild animals, and you will eat grass like a cow.  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.’  “That same hour the judgment was fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society.  He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven.  He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.  “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.  His rule is everlasting, and his kingdom is eternal.  All the people of the earth are nothing compared to him.  He does as he pleases
among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth.  No one can stop him or say to him, ‘What do you mean by doing these things?’  “When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom.  My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before. 
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven.  All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.”  Daniel 4:28-37 (NLT)
King Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful man in the world – and he was not ashamed to say so!  That pride drove him crazy. 
God humbled the most powerful king Babylon and the world had ever seen; for seven years the one who was surrounded by his subordinates bowing and scraping to his power now ate grass, walked on all fours and probably howled at the moon.
When his sanity returned he realized the foolishness of believing his own press reports about how he was supreme ruler; he now knew glory belongs to God alone.
At times the pride of Washington D.C. strikes me as something of a Nebuchadnezzar profile.  It’s a nationalistic pride fever; we are the most powerful nation on earth, and we are probably as hated around the globe as the ancient king who threw around the weight of his power.
Why the hatred when we try to do so much good, feeding people, policing the terrorists and the like?  It’s pride; who genuinely loves someone who pats himself on the back?
In a way I think we are howling at the moon these days – Nebuchadnezzar style.  We’ve become brutish and animal-like in this country.  Our sexual displays are worse than that of animals, and our lack of respect for human life is more brutal than the culture that God destroyed in Noah’s day.
We’ve been driven crazy by our pride in the blessings God has showered on this nation; the land that has been a blessing to the world in generations-past has forgotten our responsibility to come humbly before God as servants. 
We are ripe for a harsher judgment than Nebuchadnezzar’s! 
There is a need for prayer intercessors today in our nation, more, perhaps than at any other time in our history. 
Like Mordecai said to his niece, Esther when the nation was threatened with destruction, who knows, maybe you’re where you are for such a time as this.
God always has a remnant of his people who are willing to risk everything to be obedient.  Could it be that this is the time (before it is too late for America) to stop dabbling in prayer – instead start living in prayer for God to destroy our pride and return us to holy worship of holy God?

For You Today

The song “God bless America” made a comeback after 911.  We sing stand beside her, and guide her

Will you pray that the Nebuchadnezzars of this land will remember our national pledge is not “beside” God, but one nation UNDER God?

[1] Title Image: William Blake [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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