It is one of my top three favorite books in Scripture. I spent an entire semester studying this single book in college and my goodness, the hidden treasures in Daniel are fascinating and voluminous. The book is wonderful at face value, but once you start going verse by verse and digging into the history of the time, it makes it even more powerful and exciting.
Daniel is a man of character and conviction. He feared no man, no matter how powerful. He would not yield under even the most frightening of circumstances. He could not be bought with worldly treasures. He feared God and God alone. He was obedient. He was faithful. He was unshakable. And he is only a teenage boy when we are introduced to him! As a young man he already possessed a faith that was rock solid and had courage of conviction. "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies." Daniel 1:8
I stand in awe of him.
Today we read chapter four, which interestingly enough, was written by King Nebuchadnezzar himself. It is his account of how God dealt with his arrogance and pride and absolute refusal to give glory to God for all he had been given. God had already revealed to him, in a dream, that he would have his kingdom and power stripped away from him, he would be put into the fields to eat grass like cattle, and would remain there for seven years until he acknowledged that heaven rules. And then, a year later, he is walking on the roof of the royal palace and says, "Is this not the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?" (Daniel 4:28~30) Notice the "I" and "my" statements littered throughout.
The words were still on his lips when the Lord calls down from heaven and reminds him of what was foretold and immediately, it was fulfilled.
He spent seven years as a human lawn mower and at the end of that time ... "I raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever." (verse 34)
And this was his prayer ... a prayer from the heart of a man who just a year before thought He was everything. He had full control. Full power. He needed no one because He himself, was enough. (Haven't we all been there before?)
"His dominion is an eternal dominion; His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing.
He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back His hand or say to Him, "What have You done?""
"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble."
I will be thinking on this chapter for days to come ... I find it encouraging, challenging, and convicting. Very convicting. We may not walk the roof of a palace but we do walk through life thinking we have control ... in little things and in the big things. And if we do not willingly humble ourselves and give glory and power to the God who created us, He will do it for us.
"He has shown thee, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of thee.
But to do justly, and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with thy God."