Now, I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all

His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.

Daniel 4: 37

 

Here are the words of one of the most accomplished men to ever walk on the face of the earth. He had empire, position, and wealth. Anything that he commanded was done without question, and Nebuchadnezzar had been able to surround himself with splendid buildings that were monuments to his leadership and power. Still, God wanted something else from him, and the Lord continued to pursue him with a relentlessness that was even greater than King Nebuchadnezzar’s desire to build monuments. God spoke to him, He provided human testimony, and compelling examples of His might and sovereignty. Yet, Nebuchadnezzar’s pride was strong, and he continued to know who God was, but he didn’t submit to the Lord and so actually know Him.

 

So, God humbled the great man. The Lord took him quite literally to his knees, and forced him to depend totally on the protection of others and on the grace of God. Thus, these words are the deeply felt utterance of a man who has plummeted from the peak of his own success to the depths of living in a pasture, and who has been restored totally by God’s unending love and total grace. This is the story of an ancient king that applies to our world as much as it did then, and it is a story of how God continues to work in the lives of everyone regardless of station, status, or rank.

 

There is almost no one alive who does not deal with issues of pride and self-sufficiency. We are made so that survival and even dominance are wired into us, and we are taught and trained to seek after the results of our efforts that would seem to provide the highest degree of worldly success. Yet, these results are not always what honors God, and they are not usually the way that our Lord would have us travel through life as followers of Christ. Now most of us do not require as dramatic an experience as the one that Nebuchadnezzar underwent in order to relent, repent, and turn away from our own way. However, God is ready and willing to do whatever it might take to get our attention and to cause us to turn toward Him in humble submission to His will and in willingness to serve His kingdom in whatever way the Lord desires. If we are open to hear, Christ does speak His will to us, and as we surrender to His will, He empowers our service in the name of the Lord.