Participants: Ty Gibson and James Rafferty
Series Code: DBOTB
Program Code: DBOTB00005B
00:01 Hello friends and welcome back to our study of Daniel
00:03 Chapter 4 and we are actually in verse 22.
00:05 Where Daniel makes this
00:06 declaration concerning this
00:07 dream and its interpretation
00:09 that Nebuchadnezzar has had.
00:10 "It is thou O King," we have seen here Ty, Daniel has been
00:15 reluctant to give the interpretation of this dream to
00:19 Nebuchadnezzar because he is wanting to reach the heart
00:22 of the King and he knows that it's going to be difficult
00:24 for the king to receive this assessment of himself.
00:27 He is going to be this mighty tree that is cut down by
00:30 his watchers, he is going to be a mighty kingdom that is
00:33 going to lose all of his respect and all in his honor for
00:36 seven years, he is going to be like a wild man eating
00:39 grass in the field.
00:41 So he is reluctant and at the same time he knows God wants
00:46 him to give the interpretation to Nebuchadnezzar.
00:48 This is the way that Nebuchadnezzar's heart and
00:51 life is going to be changed.
00:52 This is God's will for Nebuchadnezzar.
00:54 Daniel as a man of God and so Daniel is reluctantly
00:57 wanting to make sure that he follows through with
01:00 God's will.
01:01 Daniel tells him, reluctantly, but clearly and directly,
01:06 King Nebuchadnezzar the vision
01:08 you had of this great tree with
01:11 fruit and its branches reaching
01:13 out to shade the earth and all who are under it is going
01:16 to be cut down.
01:18 This is you, your kingdom is going to be cut down and
01:21 taken from you, but it is amazing that there is still,
01:25 here even a word of mercy and assurance to Nebuchadnezzar.
01:29 He says, but Nebuchadnezzar listen, God has an objective,
01:33 he has a goal for you.
01:35 He is leading you, you are a hard nut to crack
01:37 Nebuchadnezzar but God is reaching into your heart and
01:41 your kingdom will be assured to you when you come to the
01:46 realization that the most high God rules
01:50 in the affairs of men.
01:52 God is eager to reach your heart and He assures you
01:54 the kingdom after you have gone through this experience.
01:57 It is amazing that Daniel, then, actually reaches
02:01 further and says, Nebuchadnezzar listen,
02:04 I have some counsel for you.
02:06 Here's what I want you to do.
02:07 I want you to listen carefully Nebuchadnezzar,
02:09 this is what you need to do,
02:11 verse 27, "you need to break off your sins by righteous
02:15 living and break off your iniquities by showing mercy
02:19 to the poor, perhaps there may be a lengthening of
02:23 your prosperity. "
02:26 Daniel doesn't want to Nebuchadnezzar to experience
02:28 this horrific judgment that the dream says is going to come
02:32 upon him and he is given good council here.
02:35 Come to your senses.
02:36 In fact he is getting council that is the exact opposite
02:39 of what it means to live in pride.
02:41 Pride lives for self.
02:42 Pride glorifies self.
02:44 Pride embellishes self.
02:45 Pride builds up and strengthens self's kingdom.
02:48 What happens when you live for self, and you embellished
02:52 self is that you neglect others.
02:53 Specifically, as the king you neglect the poor.
02:56 He has, in order to embellish and lift up and exalt himself,
03:00 he has neglected to take care of the poor and needy
03:02 that are around him in the world.
03:03 So basically what Daniel is saying is that Nebuchadnezzar
03:06 is the problem, your pride has made you selfish.
03:10 Selfishness is the essence of sin.
03:13 You can break away from the selfishness by extending
03:17 mercy to those around you.
03:18 And he does, it seems like it works for awhile.
03:21 Nebuchadnezzar for a year lives in tranquility and it
03:25 seems like he follows Daniel's advice, Daniels council.
03:29 To some degree, but then there is obviously a very clear
03:32 indication that even to this point, after receiving his
03:36 second vision, clear interpretations from Daniel,
03:39 God's prophet, but still Nebuchadnezzar is not converted
03:44 at the depths of his heart and he says in verse 30.
03:47 He is walking around, it is like a year later after
03:49 receiving the vision and the interpretation.
03:51 "The king spoke and he said is not this great Babylon
03:56 that I have built for a royal dwelling, by my mighty power,
04:02 and for the honor of my Majesty?"
04:04 Isn't that what is going on here?
04:06 Isn't that what he is thinking in his mind?
04:07 I did this and I am it, I'm the king and I did all of
04:11 this for my glory.
04:13 This is a clear verification that God's method is the best
04:15 method to reach Nebuchadnezzar.
04:17 God has given Nebuchadnezzar every opportunity.
04:19 He has given him dreams.
04:20 He has given him
04:21 interpretations, and been a
04:22 witness to him through his
04:23 faithful followers.
04:24 This is a year transition
04:27 between the time he has interpreted the dream and the
04:30 time comes upon him is a perfect confirmation and
04:34 verification that God's method is the best
04:36 to reach Nebuchadnezzar.
04:37 Nothing else is working.
04:38 So this tells us that the best thing that can happen to
04:41 Nebuchadnezzar right now, which Nebuchadnezzar himself
04:44 testifies of in this entire Chapter, is that God's will
04:47 will be carried out and that he will lose this kingdom,
04:50 even his sense.
04:51 He will become like a wild man, actually the psychiatrists
04:54 have a term for this syndrome that
04:58 happen to Nebuchadnezzar.
04:59 What happened in ancient times where men and women that would
05:03 live very close to their wild stock, their animals.
05:06 At times they would have what was called a Wild Man Syndrome,
05:10 Wild Ox Syndrome.
05:11 They would become like animals.
05:13 They are thinking that this is probably what God allowed
05:17 to happen to Nebuchadnezzar, he became like an ox.
05:20 He lost his sense, he lost his ability to rule.
05:22 Everyone forsook him, everyone left him,
05:26 he was eating grass, he was crazy,
05:27 he wasn't taking care of himself.
05:29 He wasn't cutting his hair, and wasn't cleaning his nails.
05:32 He wasn't doing anything, everyone left him Ty,
05:34 except for one person.
05:35 The band around the tree tells us that when everyone
05:39 else leaves us, God is still there.
05:41 "God never leaves us," Hebrews 13:5, and He never forsake us.
05:45 God was with Nebuchadnezzar.
05:46 As we pointed out in previous programs on the book of
05:49 Daniel, even though the
05:51 book of Daniel is generally
05:52 thought of as a book of end
05:54 time prophecies and that's there
05:56 and it is a vital truth.
05:57 There is something else happening in the book of Daniel.
06:00 That is the story of God relentlessly pursuing king
06:06 Nebuchadnezzar to bring him to Himself
06:09 and eternal salvation.
06:10 It is amazing that this God of heaven has such and eye
06:14 of singular mercy for Nebuchadnezzar.
06:18 He is focused on this king and bringing him to Himself.
06:21 I love it because as he goes through this great trial,
06:25 as all of his lords and even his family leave him.
06:28 It says at the end of verse 34, "and at the end of
06:32 the days, I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my
06:35 eyes unto heaven. "
06:37 It doesn't matter who we are, it doesn't matter where we
06:39 are, doesn't matter what we have been through,
06:42 if we lift our eyes up to heaven, heaven responds.
06:46 God responds and as Nebuchadnezzar lifted up his
06:49 eyes to heaven, in that moment it says,
06:51 "his understanding returned to him and he blessed the"
06:54 "Most High, and he praised and honored Him that lives"
06:57 "for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion"
06:59 "and His kingdom is from generation to generation:"
07:02 Instantaneous here, Nebuchadnezzar turns to God,
07:05 he lifts his eyes to God and praises and blesses God
07:08 because God brings a return of his understanding.
07:12 We see here that self-centeredness and arrogance,
07:17 and self exaltation is the precursor to insanity.
07:20 It has really, as you said, the essence of the sin
07:23 problem, self-centeredness is.
07:26 Then we see that the moment that Nebuchadnezzar turns
07:30 his heart to the Lord and exalt the God of heaven,
07:34 his sanity returns to him.
07:36 He is in his right mind again after seven years,
07:39 seven years of living in this very low, horrible
07:43 state of mind.
07:45 With no doubt self-incrimination and guilt driving him
07:50 to insanity, the moment Nebuchadnezzar lifts up his eyes
07:55 to the God of heaven, his sanity returns to him and
07:58 this is what sanity looks like, James.
08:00 Sanity is a recognition of God's position in our life,
08:06 and in the universe as the Most High God.
08:09 The one who's kingdom is eternal and will go on
08:12 and on for ever.
08:13 We are, as it were, nothing by comparison to God and
08:17 yet when we find refuge in Him, He lifts us up to all
08:22 that we truly should be and can be.
08:24 What is really interesting about this is
08:26 Nebuchadnezzar had this transformation, he
08:29 recognizes what is significant and what is secondary.
08:32 What he does in verse 35 is he makes this declaration,
08:35 that is powerful and important for us today, he says.
08:37 "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as
08:40 nothing: and he does according to his will in the army
08:43 of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and
08:45 none can stop his hand, or say unto him,
08:49 "What are you doing?"
08:50 Now it is really important for us to understand what
08:53 is going on here.
08:54 Nebuchadnezzar is prioritizing what is most
08:56 important and secondary.
08:58 Before this conversion, what was most important was his
09:01 kingdom, his lords, his counselors, his position in
09:05 society, his influence politically, and his kingship.
09:08 Now what is important is his relationship with God.
09:11 Everything else is secondary.
09:12 Everything else is reputed is nothing
09:14 in comparison to that.
09:15 Once you have a right relationship with God,
09:18 Nebuchadnezzar is saying, once you're understanding
09:21 returns and you recognize and bless and praise God,
09:25 first and foremost, all this other stuff is secondary.
09:28 And it comes, verse 36, "at the same time my reason
09:31 returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom,
09:33 mine honor and brightness returned unto me;
09:35 and my counselors and my lords sought unto me;
09:37 and I was established in my kingdom,
09:39 and excellent Majesty was added unto me. "
09:40 All of that as a place, but it is all secondary.
09:43 What we do in this life often
09:45 is we make all that first.
09:47 Our influence, our position,
09:49 our economic status all
09:52 comes before God.
09:54 This is what Nebuchadnezzar was doing.
09:55 Ultimately, when we do that we neglect the real issues
09:58 of life, taking care of other people and putting other
10:01 people first, and we become
10:03 first. This is what Nebuchadnezzar is going through,
10:05 this incredible transformation in his priorities of
10:11 God and other people.
10:12 I think of what Jesus had
10:14 to say to all of us, in
10:16 Matthew 6:33, putting our
10:18 priorities in order, "seek ye
10:21 first the kingdom of God. "
10:23 That is first in priorities, first in focus, "seek ye
10:26 first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and
10:30 all these things shall be added unto you. "
10:32 All these things, that Jesus was referring to,
10:35 was the material blessings of life.
10:38 These material blessings are secondary, and that's in
10:42 God's power to provide and we need to leave that to His
10:46 charge and put our focus on living for God and seeking
10:50 His righteousness.
10:51 That is a faith venture, I mean that is a faith venture
10:54 to be able to lay aside because we need these things
10:57 that we have in life to survive, to sustain us.
11:00 We need these things if we have a family, if we have
11:02 children, we need clothes, we need food.
11:04 It is a faith venture to say I am going to make that
11:07 secondary and I'm going to put God first.
11:09 What happens if you don't do that is those things will
11:11 consume you and God will be nowhere to be found.
11:14 Then he asks this question, in verse 35.
11:17 "No one can say to God, What are you doing?"
11:19 Now don't misunderstand that friends, we can ask God
11:22 what He is doing, many times we do ask God,
11:23 What are you doing? Why did this happen to me?
11:25 I don't get it!
11:26 God doesn't mind us asking the question, but when we
11:29 understand who God is, when we understand His character,
11:32 when we understand that He is long-suffering not willing
11:34 that any should perish but all will come to repentance.
11:38 Then the question is one that is not necessary, because God's
11:43 reply to that question to us is, I am moving heaven and earth,
11:46 I am doing everything I can to save you.
11:48 To get you into the kingdom and be with
11:50 Me for all eternity.
11:51 Then we come to the same conclusion that Nebuchadnezzar
11:55 came to and, that is, that all God's ways are justice,
11:59 His works are truth.
12:01 The context here, Nebuchadnezzar is realizing that
12:04 even though his experience has been painful at times,
12:07 that God has had his best interest at heart.
12:11 Through all that he has been through, God was doing
12:14 what was right, and best, and true for Nebuchadnezzar,
12:18 to bring him to the Lord God of heaven and to worship
12:21 the Creator of heaven and earth,
12:23 and to yield his life to Him.
12:26 That is what God is seeking to work out in your life,
12:28 my friend, and my life, through all the experiences
12:31 that we have.
12:32 We are looking forward to studying with you again.
12:33 Thank you and God bless.