Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Nebuchadnezzar’s Testimony

Meditation for the week of December 5, 2010

Daniel 4:1-2 Nebuchadnezzar the king, To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.  I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.

People who are true converts to “the Most High God” should have one good Gospel sermon in them.  That sermon is the story of how they were humbled in the presence of God, how they faced their unbelief, and how they ultimately found out that Jesus is Lord just as Paul did on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:5).

Nebuchadnezzar had worshiped the mystical pagan gods of his day.  Actually, it appears from the previous chapter that he had made a statue that he wanted everyone to worship and that statue was really a representation of him.  He thought he should be worshiped and most of us are like that before we are “born again”.   We think that what we think is right and we follow the teachings of those who agree with us.  We assume that we are the final authority with regard to spiritual matters and we elevate ourselves to the position of “most High God.”  Those of us who believe that there is only One God and only one way to heaven are considered narrow.  We had to repent (or find out we were wrong and God was right) in order to believe that truth.  We are narrow because we believe that it is a narrow road that leads to heaven (Matthew 7:13-14).  We, like Nebuchadnezzar, wish that all people were narrow enough to worship the God we worship.  We wish they could understand the peace and joy that comes with having a relationship based on trust with “the Most High God.”  Most people know the burden and cruelty of religion, but they do not know the joy and liberty of serving a loving God.  When Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan king, he cruelly tried to destroy the three friends of Daniel who had been faithful to the “Most High God” and who would not bow down to his idol.  The Jews in the new testament cruelly crucified their Messiah.  But now Nebuchadnezzar is a changed man and he wants others to know the Living and True God.

Nebuchadnezzar found out that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men (Daniel 4:7).”  He found out that God had given him the kingdom, he had not built it on his own.  And he wasn’t the most majestic of people nor the best of the earth, but he was the lowest of men as far as God was concerned.  Nebuchadnezzar became a beast who ate grass and yet “the Most High God” preserved his kingdom for Him.  When his ordeal was over he says, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down (Daniel 4:37).”  Nebuchadnezzar is now justifying the one true God and is worshiping Him. It appears to me that he wants everyone in his kingdom to worship “the Most High God” as well. 

This story has a sad ending.  In the next chapter Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, Belshazzar, rebelled against God and likely died on the night of his debauchery and rebellion.  Daniel was called to interpret for him what was being miraculously written on the wall that night by the fingers of a man’s hand.  He was told that his kingdom was finished and that God had weighed him in the balances and found him lacking (Daniel 5:27).  Belshazzar died that night and he wasn’t prepared.  Daniel said to him that the testimony of Nebuchadnezzar should have spoken to him.  "But you his son (probably grandson), Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. . . God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified (Daniel 5:22-23).”

Nebuchadnezzar found the God of heaven and submitted to Him. He was prepared for eternity.  Beshazzar knew better but rebelled in pride. He was not prepared and no doubt is wishing right now that he had listened to his grandfather.

The Scripture is clear and straight forward and narrow :  "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18).”

Bruce Collins

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