King Nebuchadnezzar, renowned for the splendor of the mighty ancient city of Babylon, was a terror to the nations around him. He conquered and plundered. Even the Israelites, God's chosen people, succumbed to his power.
But Nebuchadnezzar made a big mistake. He didn't give God credit for his success. And so, he had to be taught a lesson.
First, the king was warned in a dream about a tree which grew to the height of heaven, but was ordered cut down. The dream frightened the king and he wanted to find out what it meant, so he went to the wise men of Babylon for an interpretation.
Daniel, a trusted Israelite in the Chaldean kingdom, eventually was asked. When he heard about the dream his words were: "My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies." Daniel 4:19
Daniel told the king the tree was actually him, that he would be forced to live with beasts in the field.
The dream became a reality.
The Bible tells us Nebuchadnezzar was bragging when a voice from heaven repeated the message Daniel had given him a year earlier: "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." Daniel 4:32.
The dream became a reality within the hour.
Nebuchadnezzar's hair grew like feathers; his nails were like bird claws. Later, his reason returned.
"Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment," he said, "and those that walk in pride he is able to abase." Daniel 4:37
Like other Bible stories, King's Nebuchadnezzar's tale is more than just the retelling of a historic event. His experience offers us a valuable lesson, even today.
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