Daniel Chapter 4

Daniel Chapter 4

 

4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.

4:2 I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.

4:3 How great [are] his signs! and how mighty [are] his wonders! his kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion [is] from generation to generation.

4:4 I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:

4:5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.

4:6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise [men] of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.

4:7 Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.

4:8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name [was] Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom [is] the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, [saying],

4:9 O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods [is] in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.

 

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4:10 Thus [were] the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof [was] great.

4:11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:

4:12 The leaves thereof [were] fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it [was] meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.

4:13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;

4:14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:

4:15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and [let] his portion [be] with the beasts in the grass of the earth:

4:16 Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him: and let seven times pass over him.

4:17 This matter [is] by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

4:18 This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise [men] of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou [art] able; for the spirit of the holy gods [is] in thee.

4:19 Then Daniel, whose name [was] Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream [be] to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

4:20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong,

 

32 ~ THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL AND REVELATION

whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;

4:21 Whose leaves [were] fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it [was] meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:

4:22 It [is] thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.

4:23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and [let] his portion [be] with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

4:24 This [is] the interpretation, O king, and this [is] the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:

4:25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

4:26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.

4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

4:28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.

4:29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.

4:30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

4:31 While the word [was] in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, [saying], O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is

 

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL ~ 33

spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.

4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling [shall be] with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

4:33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ [feathers], and his nails like birds’ [claws].

4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:

4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

4:36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works [are] truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

T he principles of the everlasting gospel are simple. Self is a false god that must be daily crucified (Galatians 2:20). Pride is my biggest enemy. "Self-surrender is the substance of the teachings of Christ." {DA 523.3} The battle and the march of the Christian life is the battle of daily surrender of self to the wonderful rulership of King Jesus. This is the "narrows" of the gospel that is not always preached today.

"We need to see that the way is narrow, and the gate strait. But as we pass

 

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through the strait gate, the wideness is without limit." {TMK 304.4}

King Nebuchadnezzar experienced both the "narrows" when living in the grass like an ox, and the "wideness is without limit" when restored to his kingdom with an appreciation of God. In the life of David, as a shepherd, he fought and killed a lion and a bear by God’s grace. As the king of Israel and Judah, he had to, by God’s grace, kill the lion of pride, and the bear of lust and selfishness on a daily basis to be the humble, loyal and loving believer in God that would represent the character of the true God. This is our task and privilege to experience by God’s grace daily also.

This is a story of God’s initiative coming into the life of an individual with the purpose of salvation. The individual succumbs to pride and does not surrender self in humility to the God of heaven. God disciplines the individual for the purpose of healing and salvation. For Nebuchadnezzar, God’s intervention was successful. We are each the king of our own mind and the kingdom of the sphere of influence that God has given to us. Will we yield our pride and our wills to King Jesus? Will we submit the throne of our hearts—put self on the cross of Calvary, and invite King Jesus to sit on the throne every day of our lives? Will we, like David, kill the lion of pride and the bear of self on a daily basis? It is our works—what we do and who has our thoughts (Steps to Christ, 59)—that reveals who is on the throne of our heart. That is why works are judged in the judgment.2 It is not effective for us to cut down our tree of selfishness and leave the trunk and the roots to grow again. Self must die daily that Jesus can reign in the heart daily and transform us from one degree of character likeness to the next.3 When Jesus wounds and prunes us, He does not destroy us. If we consent for self to die and for Jesus to reign on the throne of our hearts daily, Jesus becomes our root and stump which can flourish and bring forth the fruits of His Spirit.