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June 9, 2024


Book of Daniel


Daniel 4:1-37

For over two decades a defiant, cocky man by the name of Napoleon created turmoil in Europe.  Despite his small stature, 5 feet 2 inches, he caused great trouble for all the people around him.  In a bid to regain some of the power he had lost due to a forced exile, Napoleon led his armies in a path of devastation across the battlefields of Europe.  On June 18, 1815, Napoleon and his armies faced the united armies of England, Prussia, Russia, Austria, Belgium and The Netherlands, led by the Duke of Wellington.

Before the battle started Napoleon, speaking to his commanding officer, said “We will put the infantry here, the calvary over there, and the artillery in that spot.  At the end of the day, England will be at the feet of France, and Wellington will be the prisoner of Napoleon.”

The officer responded, “But, we must not forget that man proposes and God disposes.”

With his typical arrogance, Napoleon stood as straight and as tall as his 5-foot-two- inch frame would allow and replied, “I want you to understand, sir, that Napoleon proposes and Napoleon disposes!”

Victor Hugo, the writer, penned these words concerning that battle, “From that moment Waterloo was lost, for God sent rain and hail so that the troops of Napoleon could not maneuver as he planned, and on the night of the battle it was Napoleon who was prisoner of Wellington, and France who was at the feet of England.

Sinful pride is one of the worst evils on earth.  People who are filled with pride exalt themselves and demean others.  The attitude of a proud person says, “Look at me.”

  • “Look at my social status.”

  • “Look at my achievements.”

  • “Look at my education.”

  • “Look at my talents.”

  • “Look at my salary and bank account”

  • “Look at my fancy house.”

  • “Look at all my possessions.”

Of course, none of these things are wrong in and of themselves.  They become wrong when the people who have them become self-centered and began to exalt themselves above others.  Such pride is sinful because it belittles and sometimes oppresses others.  The text today gives us the testimony of a man who has learned a harsh lesson about the sin and pride that was in his own heart.  In these verses, and in several others that precede them, we are given the details of Nebuchadnezzar’s journey from sin to salvation.  In this message, I want us to see how the most powerful man in that day was made the prisoner of God and how the nation of Babylon was placed at the feet of Heaven.  We will see how God works in the lives of people to get them where He wants them to be.  ONLY GOD CAN DO IT!


Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling and frightening dream that God Himself aroused.  Again, Daniel is called upon to interpret a dream for Nebuchadnezzar.  As he does so, Daniel is forced to tell the old king that the dream is a prophecy of his on coming judgment.  Reluctantly, Daniel does so with a heavy heart, v. 19.  The prophecy is one of judgment, a judgment that is designed to forever break the hard heart and will of this pagan king and to bring him to a place of total dependence upon the Lord., v. 25.   As Daniel closes his commentary to the king, v. 27, he challenges and pleads for the king to repent.  Yet, the king disregarded his comments.  King Nebuchadnezzar continued to live with pride and arrogance.  He refuses to acknowledge God and submit to His will.

Again, can’t you see a parallel between this king and many people who live in our world and fill the church pews.  You can see there is no fear of God in their lives and no regard for the plain Word of God.  Their pride and arrogance blind them to the utmost.  People forget that Yahweh is a God of wrath and judgment!


Because Nebuchadnezzar responded to the call of God in pride and arrogance, he suffered God’s wrath.

  1. The Delay of His Punishment v. 29 – Although judgment on the king had been predicted, the LORD’S mercy reached out in a continued attempt to arouse him to repentance.  Patiently, the LORD gave the king one whole year to repent.  God’s delay in sending judgment should never be misinterpreted!  You will never get away with sin!

  2. The Depth of His Punishment v. 31-32 – While Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogant words were still on his lips, a voice suddenly spoke from heaven pronouncing judgment upon the king v. 31.  The king was to lose his royal authority immediately.   He was to become insane and live outside among the animals v. 32.  Nebuchadnezzar is afflicted with a disease called “lycanthropy”.  This a compound word “Lycos”, which means “wolf” and “Anthropos”, which means “man”.  This gives us the meaning “wolfman”.  God has a way of getting our attention!  He knows just how much it will take for us realize that is THE ALMIGHTY GOD!

  3. The Duration of His Punishment v. 25 – The king was to remain insane for seven, until he was humbled before the LORD and was willing to acknowledge that the LORD is sovereign---that the LORD controls all the kingdoms and affairs of this world.  If you are out of God’s will and God’s chastisement has not come, you still have time to get it right!


Finally, after seven years of insanity, God began to restore the king’s mind v. 34-36.  The humiliated king began to regain his reasoning skills and to realize what a fool he had been.  Convicted of his sinful pride and wicked ways, he lifted up his eyes toward heaven and looked to the LORD v. 34.  Although we have no way of knowing for sure, Nebuchadnezzar’s behavior is a strong suggestion of faith and repentance---a genuine conversion experience.  Remember that Daniel had been the chief royal advisor to Nebuchadnezzar for over 30 years.  Considering how faithful Daniel was to the LORD, he was bound to be a strong witness in sharing the Word of God with the king.  This fact plus the other major encounters Nebuchadnezzar had with God point strongly toward this being a genuine conversion.  With a heart full of thanksgiving, Nebuchadnezzar immediately exalted the LORD v. 34b-35.

  • He praised God as the One who lives forever v. 34b.

  • He honored God’s eternal dominion and kingdom that endure from generation to generation

  • He confessed that all people are as nothing when compared to God v. 35a.

  • He acknowledged God’s sovereignty, that God controls both the beings of heaven and the peoples of earth v. 35b.  Moreover, no one could challenge either the wisdom or the power of God.

Nebuchadnezzar gives good evidence of a life changed by the power of God!  This is a good example for you and me this morning.  Not the suffering Nebuchadnezzar endured, but we need to be in a place where our lives and lips give powerful testimony to God’s life changing power.

What will it take to get you and me in a place where we are willing to bow to God’s power?

Responsive Reading:  Daniel 4:28-37    The

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