King of Kings

This dream I, king Nebuchadnezzar, have seen; and you, Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in you. Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was stricken mute for a while, and his thoughts troubled him. The king answered, Belteshazzar, don’t let the dream, or the interpretation, trouble you.

Belteshazzar answered, My lord, the dream be to those who hate you, and its interpretation to your adversaries. The tree that you saw, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached to the sky, and its sight to all the earth; whose leaves were beautiful, and its fruit much, and in it was food for all; under which the animals of the field lived, and on whose branches the birds of the sky had their habitation: it is you, O king, that are grown and become strong; for your greatness is grown, and reaches to the sky, and your dominion to the end of the earth.

Whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the sky, and saying, Cut down the tree, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field, and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him.

This is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which has come on my lord the king: that you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field, and you shall be made to eat grass as oxen, and shall be wet with the dew of the sky, and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will. Whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree; your kingdom shall be sure to you, after that you shall have known that the heavens do rule. Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if there may be a lengthening of your tranquility.

All this came on the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking in the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke and said, Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?

While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from the sky, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you: and you shall be driven from men; and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field; you shall be made to eat grass as oxen; and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.

The same hour was the thing fulfilled on Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and ate grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the sky, until his hair was grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.

At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him who lives forever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or ask him, What are you doing?

At the same time my understanding returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and brightness returned to me; and my counselors and my lords sought to me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven; for all his works are truth, and his ways justice; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase. – Daniel 4:18-37 (WEB)

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. – Romans 12:3 (ESV)

Twelve months after receiving the interpretation of his dream, Nebuchadnezzar has not changed his ways. He is still talking about the great Babylon that he built by his mighty power and for the honor of his majesty. Failing to acknowledge God as the source of all power, God takes the kingdom from Nebuchadnezzar. His dream comes true as he is driven from the palace and eats grass like oxen. At the end of the appointed time, Nebuchadnezzar finally looks to heaven and his understanding is restored.

Now he blesses, praises, and honors the Most High God. He acknowledges that God’s dominion is everlasting and that God does according to his will among the inhabitants of earth. Finally, he recognizes that God is King of kings and Nebuchadnezzar is not. He knows the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he chooses. This was a hard lesson to learn.

Have we learned it, or do we still put ourselves on the throne of our lives?

God, we submit our total beings to you and your will. Amen.

Copyright © 2008, Star Ferdinand.

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