The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on stewardship and God’s provision in power and authority.
29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king 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. 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.
Observations and reflections
Note: This account chapter 4 follows Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s dream with the essence ‘repent of your ways, and know that “heaven rules”’ (v27). At the time this was recorded by Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar was a great emperor who ruled many kingdoms in the Middle East and Europe, including Israel.
- From the decree by the “voice from Heaven” (v3-32) what do we learn of God’s providence and power in human lives (as in each of these phrases)?
- “The kingdom has departed from you”
- “you shall be driven from among men”
- “your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field”
- “you shall be made to eat grass like an ox”
- What is the intended lesson from this account?
- How does this account challenge your attitude towards the ruler of your country?
- Consider your current circumstance – what is entrusted to you, your influence and your authority. How does it feel that God knows where you are at, and that he is the one that has entrusted to you authority and power, your relational influence, where you live and your mental faculty?
- How does that influence your perspective on the successes in your life?
- How does that influence your perspective on the challenges you face?
Pray firstly for the ruler of your country – for grace that He may recognize and serve God in his rules.
Then thank God for the authority, influence and even intelligence you have, and pray that you may serve Him well where you are. Then bring the challenges you have in prayer to God.