Nebuchadnezzar was a proud king who was full of himself. The Lord blessed him with a vast and powerful kingdom. But, he thought he had built it by the power of his own hands. In his pride, Nebuchadnezzar built a 90-foot tall gold statue that he made everyone worship. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah refused to worship it. As a result they were thrown into a fiery furnace. God protected them and Nebuchadnezzar saw a heavenly being with them. At this, he saw the power of the God he defied.
At a later time, God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream as a warning to break his pride. After interpreting the dream, Daniel urged the king to repent of his sin and do what is right. A year later, with Nebuchadnezzar still full of pride, God fulfilled the dream and gave the king the mind of an animal for seven periods of time. At the end of that time, the king’s mind and kingdom were restored. He acknowledged the Lord and humbled himself.
In James 4:6 Jesus’ brother tells us that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. That verse sums up these two chapters of Daniel. God intervenes and defies Nebuchadnezzar’s pride on multiple occasions. In doing so, God proves that he is able to save and that he is the one who establishes kingdoms and rulers (Romans 13:1). At the end of it all, Nebuchadnezzar is a changed man who worships the Lord. For us, we need to check our pride and recognize who God is. As the saying goes, “check yourself before you wreck yourself.” We need to humble ourselves before God humbles us, which he most certainly will do.
Have you examined your life for areas where you are proud & need humility?