In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that foreshadowed his seven-year period of being humbled by the true King, Jesus. Despite the warning, he continued his prideful reign until the dream came true and he was forced to acknowledge the God over all kingdoms.
Jesus is King: Daniel 4
Nebuchadnezzar– (2600 yrs ago) the world superpower Iraq, ?largest city Babylon
Daniel – Ch 4 – Daniel 45-50 yrs old; 25-30 years from Ch 3-4. Living, working, normal
- Daniel Ch 4 – King Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind 7 years, now explains
- In Aramaic, evangelistic testimony for Babylon? Epistle
- May not be the same king Nebuchadnezzar we met earlier book, exits here
Biography vs Testimony
4 King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you! 2 It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. 3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.
- Theme: “Kingdom” – passing human vs everlasting God’s
- Theme: “Most High God” – over everyone, everywhere, and everything
- Biography – glory to me, gratitude to others
- Testimony – glory to God, gratitude to others
Your Kingdom vs God’s Kingdom
Daniel 4: 4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. 5 I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and the visions of my head alarmed me. 6 So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation. 8 At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—and I told him the dream, saying, 9 “O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you, tell me the visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation. 10 The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. 11 The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it. 13 “I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. 14 He proclaimed aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him. 17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’ 18 This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O Belteshazzar, tell me 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.”
- Dream – God’s revelation cannot be stopped
- King uses different path – tells dream, no death sentence
- God picks human rulers
- Holy Spirit/Spirit of Elohim – 3x (4:8,9,18) – revelation vs interpretation (HS)
- Divine Counsel – “a watcher, a holy one” “the holy ones” cf. 4:23, 8:13
Angel 3:28, 6:22; 1k X 1k’s – 10k X 10k 7:31; host of heaven 8:10; Prince of the host 8:11; Gabriel 8:15-16, 9:21; prince of Persia & Michael & chief princes 10:13 10:20-21, 12:1; “man” clothed in linen 12:5-7, a “lord” 12:8
=Even if you build heaven on earth, it will get chopped down. Build His Kingdom
Defiance vs Repentance
Daniel 4:19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies! 20 The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, 21 whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived— 22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth. 23 And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,’ 24 this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, 25 that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. 26 And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”
- :19 on Nebuchadnezzar does not/cannot speak for himself
- Daniel still chief Bible teacher 30 years later, loving enemies
- “Belteshazzar” means “Bel/Baal protect the prince.” – demon vs God
- Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon and God’s people thought their God lost to gods
1.Fake Jesus: Choose defiance over repentance – trying to be a fake Jesus.
2.God Warns and Waits: God warns of future, waits patiently for us to repent
3.Forgive First: Forgive people before they repent to us (Daniel was “oppressed”)
4.Connect Before Correct: Easier to hear the truth from someone loves God & us.
Humiliation vs Humility
Daniel 4:28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 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.” 33 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.
- It looked like God & Kingdom Heaven defeated by the gods & kingdom Babylon
- King hardened own heart like Pharaoh
- “lost anointing” from God??? Romans 1 handed over
- When you fail to repent, see your error, & turn to God you start to go crazy
- We are image bearers not beasts, no matter what evolution says
- Some mental illness is not medical but spiritual
God Opposes the Proud, Gives Grace to the Humble
- Satan – first to be the king over a godless kingdom = pride is demonic
- Life can humiliate you, but only you can humble you
- CS Lewis A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.
- Prideful unrepentance is a doorway to the demonic:
Lilith/the night creature or screech owl. Bible speaks Satan/demons dangerous beasts, Satan as a serpent/dragon/lion, and other demons – python spirit, goat demons, & wild animals including ostriches, bulls, hyenas, birds, and scorpions. Bible also refers to evil people as vipers, serpents, goats, cows, dogs, wolves, leeches, donkeys, & evil beasts
Jesus is King
Daniel 4:34 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; 35 all the inhabitants of 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?” 36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. 37 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.
- God: faithful to Daniel & Nebuchadnezzar
- Daniel: faithfully served a godless man for 7 years until he was restored
- King Nebuchadnezzar: a. ½ say spiritual phony like Judas b. ½ say Paul OT
- If you struggle to believe that God could have saved Nebuchadnezzar and changed his heart, you may not understand grace and have a soft heart.
- Let Jesus figure out who is saved and make sure you are saved.
1. Other kings are proud, but our King Jesus is Humble
2. Other kings conquer people and makes them slaves, our King Jesus conquers Satan and sets people free
3. Other kings need our help, our King Jesus needs no help and helps us.
4. Other kings try to change the future, our King Jesus controls the future.
5. Other kings are empowered by the demonic spirit of Babylon, our King Jesus is empowered by the Holy Spirit of God.
6. Other kings rise up to look down on us, but our King Jesus came down to lift us up.
7. Other kings rule from fear, but our King Jesus rules from love.
8. Other kings are selfish and cruel, but our King Jesus is selfless and compassionate.
9. Other kings do not repent or forgive, but your King Jesus forgives those who repent.
10. Other kings make their kingdom with human hands, our King Jesus has a Kingdom not built by human hands.
11. Other kings are worshipped by people who have to worship them, our King Jesus is worshipped by people who want to worship Him.
12. Other kings put us in their fiery furnace, our King Jesus goes with us into our fiery furnace.
13. Other kings pray for their kingdom to come, our King Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
14. Other kings die and stand before our King Jesus.
15. Other kings are not ruling today and will not be ruling tomorrow, but our King Jesus is ruling today and coming tomorrow to rule forever.