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When Nebuchadnezzar Regained His Sanity


Nebuchadnezzar was the Babylonian king who carried out the siege and destruction of Jerusalem, and also the First Temple of God in 586 BC.

But who initiated Nebuchadnezzar to go against Israel? Who was the Mastermind?

In 2 Chronicles 36:17, God was the One who handed all of His people in Judah over to Nebuchadnezzar!

So the Lord brought the king of Babylon against them.
The Babylonians killed Judah’s young men,
even chasing after them into the Temple.
They had no pity on the people,
killing both young men and young women,
the old and the infirm.
God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar.

However that's neither the final destruction of Judah nor the ultimate victory for Babylon! It was only just a new beginning of another fresh chapter in the history of Israel!

In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar dreamt about a gigantic tree. God sent the interpretation through His beloved servant and prophet, Daniel.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream about a Tree

1 King Nebuchadnezzar sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world:

“Peace and prosperity to you!

2 “I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me.

3 How great are His signs, how powerful His wonders!

His kingdom will last forever, His rule through all generations.

4 “I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living in my palace in comfort and prosperity.

5 But one night I had a dream that frightened me; I saw visions that terrified me as I lay in my bed.

6 So I issued an order calling in all the wise men of Babylon, so they could tell me what my dream meant.

7 When all the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune-tellers came in, I told them the dream, but they could not tell me what it meant.

8 At last Daniel came in before me, and I told him the dream.

(He was named Belteshazzar after my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)

9 “I said to him, ‘Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too great for you to solve.

Now tell me what my dream means.

10 “‘While I was lying in my bed, this is what I dreamed.

I saw a large tree in the middle of the earth.

11 The tree grew very tall and strong, reaching high into the heavens for all the world to see.

12 It had fresh green leaves, and it was loaded with fruit for all to eat.

Wild animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches.

All the world was fed from this tree.

13 “‘Then as I lay there dreaming, I saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven.

14 The messenger shouted, “Cut down the tree and lop off its branches!

Shake off its leaves and scatter its fruit!

Chase the wild animals from its shade and the birds from its branches.

15 But leave the stump and the roots in the ground, bound with a band of iron and bronze and surrounded by tender grass.

Now let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the wild animals among the plants of the field.

16 For seven periods of time, let him have the mind of a wild animal instead of the mind of a human.

17 For this has been decreed by the messengers; it is commanded by the holy ones, so that everyone may know that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world.

He gives them to anyone He chooses— even to the lowliest of people.”

18 “‘Belteshazzar, that was the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had.

Now tell me what it means, for none of the wise men of my kingdom can do so.

But you can tell me because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.’

Daniel Explains the Dream

19 “Upon hearing this, Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) was overcome for a time, frightened by the meaning of the dream.

Then the king said to him, ‘Belteshazzar, don’t be alarmed by the dream and what it means.’

“Belteshazzar replied, ‘I wish the events foreshadowed in this dream would happen to your enemies, my lord, and not to you!

20 The tree you saw was growing very tall and strong, reaching high into the heavens for all the world to see.

21 It had fresh green leaves and was loaded with fruit for all to eat.

Wild animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches.

22 That tree, Your Majesty, is you.

For you have grown strong and great; your greatness reaches up to heaven, and your rule to the ends of the earth.

23 “‘Then you saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, “Cut down the tree and destroy it.

But leave the stump and the roots in the ground, bound with a band of iron and bronze and surrounded by tender grass.

Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven.

Let him live with the animals of the field for seven periods of time.”

24 “‘This is what the dream means, Your Majesty, and what the Most High has declared will happen to my lord the king.

25 You will be driven from human society, and you will live in the fields with the wild animals.

You will eat grass like a cow, and you will be drenched with the dew of heaven.

Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone He chooses.

26 But the stump and roots of the tree were left in the ground.

This means that you will receive your kingdom back again when you have learned that heaven rules.

27 “‘King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice.

Stop sinning and do what is right.

Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor.

Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.’

The Dream’s Fulfillment

28 “But all these things did happen to King Nebuchadnezzar.

29 Twelve months later he was taking a walk on the flat roof of the royal palace in Babylon.

30 As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon!

By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.’

31 “While these words were still in his mouth, a voice called down from heaven, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, this message is for you!

You are no longer ruler of this kingdom.

32 You will be driven from human society.

You will live in the fields with the wild animals, and you will eat grass like a cow.

Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone He chooses.’

33 “That same hour the judgment was fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society.

He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven.

He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

34 “After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven.

My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the One who lives forever.

His rule is everlasting, and His kingdom is eternal.

35 All the people of the earth are nothing compared to Him.

He does as He pleases among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth.

No one can stop Him or say to Him, ‘What do You mean by doing these things?’

36 “When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom.

My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.

37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, 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 Daniel 4, we find a ray of light, hope and life for all of the people in the world today especially Israel and all the nations in the Middle East!

Nebuchadnezzar was an excellent example of how the divine grace and mercy of God would deal with world powers and leaders. Heaven reigns and rules over earth!

In the beginning of the chapter, King Nebuchadnezzar issued a decree to all the people in his kingdom proclaiming the greatness and goodness of God towards him.

Earlier in Daniel 2, God had revealed Himself to Nebuchadnezzar through Daniel. Daniel both unlocked and interpreted the king's first dream. Then, once again in Daniel 3, God revealed Himself as the Fourth Man in the fiery furnace delivering Daniel's three companions.

However, the Babylonian king continued to be proud and arrogant, ignoring that it was God who had placed him as the king of Babylon. He relentlessly boasted that he was king because of his own doing and great ability.

But God was loving and longsuffering. He was going to teach this wicked king a lesson of humility by humbling him before all the people in Babylon!

This scriptural account was the personal testimony of Nebuchadnezzar after he had experienced and encountered the Most High God. He finally accepted and acknowledged God, His sovereignty, His greatness, His wonder, His power, His mercy and grace!

One day, Nebuchadnezzar was resting in his palace. But in his sleep, he had a dream that troubled him greatly.

He then called all his wise men to give him the interpretation of the dream. But none of them could do so! Then, he summoned for Daniel. And Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) came before the king.

Nebuchadnezzar addressed Daniel by saying the spirit of the gods was in him. By doing so, Nebuchadnezzar had yet to accept that God ruled over all the heavens and earth! He also degraded the Most High by placing Him among the other gods!

He told Daniel his second dream and asked for an interpretation.

A great and high tree was standing in the midst of the earth. The tree reached high into the sky. Everyone on earth could see it. The tree was not only pleasant to behold, it was also bearing loads of fruits. Everyone was eating the fruits of the tree!

A messenger, a holy one, came down from heaven and said, "Cut down the tree and destroy it."

The tree was cut down, stripped of all its leaves, branches, and fruits. But its stump and roots were spared and remained in the ground.

The stump was then bound with a band of iron and brass, surrounded by the tender grass of the field.

It would be wet with the dew of heaven, having its portions of food with the beasts who grazed in the grass.

Daniel knew the interpretation, but he was afraid to tell the king. He was struggling with how to tell the king the awful news of what was about to happen shortly.

Nebuchadnezzar could sense the struggle of Daniel. He then gave Daniel his assurance and permission to go ahead and give the interpretation without any reservation.

The king probably suspected that the outcome of the dream might not be good for him. Nevertheless he was still keen to know the truth and to have the matter revealed.

Daniel explained to Nebuchadnezzar that the great tree was the king himself. His kingdom had grown strong and great, expanding to the ends of the earth.

But the Almighty God had sent an angel to deliver a message and a decree against the king!

Because of his great pride and arrogance, Nebuchadnezzar would be humbled before God and all the people. He would be driven away from dwelling with men to dwelling with the beasts of the field.

For seven years, he would live as a beast of the field eating grass like an ox.

Under the canopy of heaven, he would be drenched with the dew of heaven.

His hair would grow as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails would become like birds’ claws.

As the stump was not destroyed, Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom would remain. He would rule once again when the period of seven years was accomplished!

Daniel then made an appeal to Nebuchadnezzar for him to abandon his sinful and evil ways by showing mercy to the poor so that perhaps God would do otherwise.

But the warning fell on deaf ears. For a full year after hearing Daniel's interpretation and advice, Nebuchadnezzar remained unchanged, continuing to let pride and evil rule over his life!

He totally ignored God and His longsuffering! He still thought that he was in full control of his life and the lives of others!

While he was boasting about all his earthly accomplishments, God struck him - even before those prideful words came out of his mouth. Nebuchadnezzar became like an animal living in the fields and eating grass like an ox.

That was a direct judgment of God. God stripped him of any human dignity.

As he had behaved like a beast in the palace, he became a beast in the open fields.

He would remain to be in that condition until he had learnt that the Most High ruled over all the kingdoms of the world, and gave them to anyone He chose.

Day and night, night and day, the king looked at heaven and acknowledged God as the King of kings and the LORD of lords! When the period of seven years was over, God restored him.

When Nebuchadnezzar regained his sanity, he praised and worshipped the Lord! God lives forever! His rule is everlasting, and His kingdom is eternal.

After that, God restored Nebuchadnezzar once again as the king of Babylon with greater honor than before.

And he declared, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All His acts are just and true, and He is able to humble the proud.”

This confession of the humbled king showed a broken spirit and a contrite heart - changed, converted and transformed in the presence of a Loving God!

James 4:10
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

King Nebuchadnezzar then sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world.

As Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged God and believed in Him, there is hope and grace for all men who put their trust in the Lord.

Why am I sharing about Nebuchadnezzar regaining his sanity? Because there is another "Nebuchadnezzar" living in our times and world today.

He is equally boastful, desiring to wipe Israel off the map of the world! He is Ahmadinejad.

Always remember to pray for him. How? Use Daniel 4.

Just replace the name of the Babylonian king with his name.

 

Written on 28 August 2012