A King Gone Mad

King Nebuchadnezzar sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world:

“Peace and prosperity to you!

“I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me.

How great are his signs,
    how powerful his wonders!
His kingdom will last forever,
    his rule through all generations.

Daniel 4:1-3 New Living Translation

In Daniel 4 we see the lengths to which God will go to make His greatness known to Nebuchadnezzar and the lengths to which pride pushes Nebuchadnezzar in refusing to acknowledge God. The form of the account is interesting since it appears to be written as if the author of Daniel is quoting a letter written by Nebuchadnezzar telling his experience. This chapter gives an account of a seven-year period in which Nebuchadnezzar experiences a strong mental illness and how this brought him to a place of humbling himself before Yahweh. Nebuchadnezzar begins his account with the strongest confession of faith he had made up to this point. Whatever Nebuchadnezzar experienced during this seven-year period, he was now convinced of the greatness of the God of the Hebrews, Yahweh.

Nebuchadnezzar had a reputation for a great intellect and was known as a great administrator in how he carried out his role as king. The capital of the Babylonian Empire was at it’s highest point during his reign and is still one of the most interesting archaeological sites in its region. So, Nebuchadnezzar had much to be proud of. His refusal to acknowledge God as the source of this greatness brought a curse on Nebuchadnezzar, though. The period of insanity he experienced left him living like an animal and eating grass. It would have been the most humiliating experience for a king of his prominence. Still, God used this experience to bring Nebuchadnezzar to a place that he was able to acknowledge the greatness of God. The king who often concerned himself with the future of his kingdom and those who would come after him finally acknowledges that it is God’s kingdom that will last beyond any other kingdom, through all generations.

God has given each of us many gifts. We have a choice if we will use those gifts for our own self-promotion or for His glory and the advancement of His purposes. As we move in our areas of giftedness, though, we need to be careful to not be prideful and acknowledge God as the source of our talents and blessings. We may not suffer as great of a trauma as Nebuchadnezzar did, but God will not allow us to go on in own strength without challenges.

God, thank you for the ways you have gifted us. Help us to always acknowledge You as the source of our talents and to use them according to Your priorities.

Published by llongard

I grew up in northeast Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University and graduated 1992 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Humanities. I spent most of the next fifteen years in the Twin Cities area until my family and I moved to Indiana in 2007. For most of the first seventeen years after college, I was involved in university ministry either as a volunteer, bi-vocational, or full-time campus minister. Through those years, I also worked in the main street marketplace as a retail manager/trainer and as a service representative in the insurance industry. I've also worked in various education roles. Most recently, I have been working on various projects addressing homelessness in Indianapolis and as team lead for Diakonos Community, a Communitas International missional initiative. Through this ministry, we seek to build missional communities in Indianapolis that serve and bring the life of Christ to those on the margins of society. Our strategy is to collaborate with community agencies that serve those in need and share Christ through meaningful relationships. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, three amazing daughters, and two cats (can't forget the cats, LOL). As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, gardening, and going to the YMCA together. I also enjoy fishing, riding bicycle, and being involved in whatever my daughters are doing. Though I have not lived in the Green Bay area for over 20 years, I am still a major Packer fan.

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