- Daniel 4
- Psalm 109
If anyone thinks that God is not in control of the nations of the world, just read Daniel 4. This is an incredible story of God’s sovereignty over the kingdoms of the world, both good and evil.
Nebi was not a good guy. He was a powerful king whose power went to his head. God allowed him to reign to a degree. But, when Nebi took credit for the conquest of the kingdom, and declared, and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” God would not allow him to take credit for it… even though it was the conquest of a godless earthly king!
God declares to Nebi that he is going to humble him “until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to whom he chooses.” (Dan 4:32) And that is exactly what happened.
To me, almost more remarkable than the humbling of Nebi, is the result of it in his life.
Dan 4:34-35, 37 After this time had passed, I Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned and I praised and worshipped the Most High and honoured the one who lives forever. His rule is everlasting and his kingdom is eternal. All the people of the earth are nothing compared to him. He does as he pleases… No one can stop him or say to him, “What to you mean by doing these things?” …Now I praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true and he is able to humble the proud.”
In 2 Cor 7:10-11 Paul talks about the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. What Nebi expresses here is the result of godly sorrow. God’s humbling of us should produce repentance that leads to growth resulting from the desire to clear yourselves and prove yourself innocent.
Should this not be what we, as God’s kids, want to see in our lives? Yet we are so quick to defend ourselves and justify what we are doing.
Why do we not look at “input” / “confrontation” / discipleship like Paul described of the Thessalonians?
1 Thess 2:13 Therefore we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.
As believers WE ARE God’s hands and feet, ears and mouth on earth. Everything we say and do is a reflection of Him, both good and bad. If what we say and how we live is not in alignment with his character, then we are displaying a poor reflection at best, and a false reflection at worst.
We should be asking what David asked in Psalm 109:21 “Deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord, for the sake of YOUR OWN reputation! Rescue me because you are so faithful and good.”
Christlikeness and being an attractive display of Christ should be our desire at all costs! Even in writing that I hesitated to say, “at all costs.” Because I am not sure I am ready / willing to count that cost. But I should be… we all should be, if we are taking being his image bearer seriously. May this be our prayer, and our desire.