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Daniel 4:34-37


Intro: For over two decades a defiant, cocky man by the name of Napoleon created turmoil in Europe. Despite his small stature, 5 feet 2 inches, he caused great trouble for all the people around him. In a bid to regain some of the power he had lost due to a forced exile, Napoleon led his armies in a swath of devastation across the battlefields of Europe. On June 18, 1815, Napoleon and his armies faced the allied armies of England, Prussia, Russia, Austria, Belgium and The Netherlands, led by the Duke of Wellington.

Before the battle commenced Napoleon, speaking to of his commanding officer, said "We will put the infantry here, the calvary over there, and the artillery in that spot. At the end of the day, England will be at the feet of France, and Wellington will be the prisoner of Napoleon."

The officer responded, "But, we must not forget that man proposes and God disposes."

With his typical arrogance, Napoleon stood as straight and as tall as his 5-foot-two-inch frame would allow ans replied, "I want you to understand, sir, that Napoleon proposes and Napoleon disposes!"

Victor Hugo, the writer, penned these words concerning that battle, "From that moment Waterloo was lost, for God sent rain and hail so that the troops of Napoleon could not maneuver as he had planned, and on the night of the battle it was Napoleon who was prisoner of Wellington, and France who was at the feet of England."

Pride is a ruthless taskmaster! It will convince us that we have all the answers and that we know better than even God. The passage we have read today gives us the testimony of a man who has learned a harsh lesson about the sin and pride that was in his own heart. In these verses, and in several others that precede them, we are given the details of Nebuchadnezzar's journey from sin to salvation. In this message, I want us to see how the most powerful man in that day was made the prisoner of God and how the nation of Babylon was placed at the feet of Heaven. We will see how God works in the lives of people to get them where He wants them to be. As the Lord gives liberty this evening, I want to preach on the thought The Gospel According To Nebuchadnezzar.


A. 1:1 The Scope Of His Power - Nebuchadnezzar was the most feared and mighty ruler of his day. He controlled the powerful kingdom of Babylon and was unrivaled in power and military might.

B. 1:2 The Source Of His Power - The Bible clearly state that Nebuchadnezzar was in the place of power because of the will of God. Jeremiah records the words of God in Jer. 43:10, where Nebuchadnezzar is called "My servant" by God Himself! He enjoyed the pinnacle of success and power because God had allowed him to be in that place. (Note: There is no such thing as a self-made man! Any successes we enjoy in this life are a result of the sovereign will of God for us! Without God, we would all still be lost sinners on our way to Hell! May the Lord help us to give Him the glory for every accomplishment. After all, He is the power responsible for it all!)

C. 1:2 The Shame Of His Power - Even though Nebuchadnezzar was a great and powerful king, he failed to recognize or acknowledge God in his life. He even took the vessels of worship from the Temple in Jerusalem and brought them to Babylon to be offered as a tribute to his god. Here is a man who is living his life independently from God and who cares nothing for the will of God in his life. (Note: This could be said of literally billions of people on this planet this evening. They possess physical life, clarity of thought and reasonable intelligence, but they are as dead to the things of God as if they were already in their graves, Eph. 2:1. This type of person takes life for granted. They ignore God and His Gospel, while they advance steadily day by day toward the fires of Hell. Friend, you can live anyway you please, but if you live your life with no regard for God and you die without Jesus as your Savior, you will have no one to blame but yourself.) (Note: This problem just doesn't apply to the lost of the world either! There are many people in the church who profess to be saved, but who call all the shots in their lives. They live as if God were indeed dead! Isn't it about time that the Lord's children gave Him the glory He deserves?)


A. 2:1-3:7 Seen In His Indifference To God's Power - (Ill. The Context) In this passage Nebuchadnezzar was brought face to face with the power of the God of Israel. He was confronted with the truth of Who God is, v. 28. He was reminded that he was where he was by the power of God, v. 37. Yet, Nebuchadnezzar responded by worshiping Daniel instead of God, v. 46. By proclaiming that the God of Daniel was a "God among gods", a great God no doubt, but just one among many. And, by building a giant statue of himself and ordering men to worship it, 3:1-8. Here is a man who had experienced God's power in his life first hand, but was totally blind and indifferent to what the Lord was doing for him and around him. (Note: This is the same problem many people in our world have today. They can see what God is doing. They can even testify to what He has done for them, but they refuse to bow before Him is total surrender. For the lost man, this will end in Hell. For the saint of God, this will end in chastisement and loss of rewards! God forbid that we would ever be indifferent to the God Who loved us enough to give His Son for us on the cross!)

B. 3:8-30 Seen In His Indifference To God's Person - (Ill. The contest of this passage.) In these verses, Nebuchadnezzar is brought face to face with God Himself. He even sees the Lord in the furnace with the three Hebrew boys, v. 25. Yet, at the end of the day, comes short of total commitment to the Lord of Heaven. When he speaks of God, he still lumps God in with all the other gods, v. 29. He refers to God as being "their" God. He is indifferent to the personal ministry of God in his life. (Note: Again, this man could represent literally billions of people. They to are confronted with God and His power, and when the heat is on in their lives, they might get a little "religious", but they stop short of total commitment, whether it be the commitment of coming to God for salvation, or that of totally committing one's life to Him. In either case, there is no repentance and no brokenness over sin. I hope none of us are guilty of taking what the Lord has done for us for granted, yet I sense that we are!)

C. 4:4-30 Seen In His Indifference To God's Prophecy - (Ill. The Context.) Again, Daniel is called upon to interpret a dream for Nebuchadnezzar. As he does so, Daniel is forced to tell the old king that the dream is a prophecy of his on coming judgment. Daniel does so with a heavy heart, v. 19. The prophecy is one of judgment, a judgment that is designed to forever break the hard heart and will of this pagan king and to bring him to a place of total dependence upon the Lord, v. 25. As Daniel closes his comments to the king, he pleads with Nebuchadnezzar to repent of his sins and to turn to God, v. 27. Yet, we see the king continuing to live in pride and arrogance. He still refuses to acknowledge God and He still refuses to submit to His will, v. 29-30. And, as prophesied, judgment came! (Note: Again, we can see a parallel between this man and many people who live in our world and fill our church pews. There is no fear of God in their lives and no regard for the plain Word of God. They live their lives as though God is a doting old grandfather and forget that He is a God of wrath and judgment!)

(Note: Did you know that the problem with Nebuchadnezzar, as well as the problem with our own hearts when live indifferent to the will and word of God, can be summed up in one word: pride? That's right! The first sin ever committed was the sin of pride, Isa. 14:14. Sin entered earth trough pride, Gen. 3:6; 1 John 2:16. Pride is at the top of God hate list for sins, Pro. 6:16. Notice several other passages related to pride in Proverbs, Pro. 16:5; Pr. 8:13; Pro. 16:18; Pro. 11:2. God cannot bless pride when it dwells within your life or mine. What He can bless, however, is the opposite of pride, humility, James 4:6. When we humbler ourselves under God's hand, He will bless our lives for His glory. It's really simple class! Pride brings pain, humility bring blessings! Which will it be for you?)


(Ill. Because Nebuchadnezzar responded to the call of God in pride and arrogance, he suffered God's wrath. Remember, "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall!")

A. V. 29 The Delay Of His Punishment - We are told that it took a full year before the judgment of God came in his life. During this time, Nebuchadnezzar had probably written off the prophecy of his judgment as the babbling of a foolish man. However, the time came when the whip of chastisement bit the flesh of the great king of Babylon. (Note: God's delay in sending judgment should never be misinterpreted! You never get away with sin! God, in His grace, will give you plenty of space to repent, but there will always be a limit to His patience. The Bible is clear when it tells us that there is a price on sin, Gal. 6:7; Num. 32:23. While the wheels of God's wrath may grind slow, they grind exceedingly fine! God hasn't forgotten, He is just giving the wayward soul an opportunity to repent!)

B. V. 31-32 The Depth Of His Punishment - When judgment came, it was swift and it was complete! Nebuchadnezzar lost his power, his glory, his kingdom, his wealth, everything that he had boasted in was taken away and he lived like an animal. (Note: Nebuchadnezzar is afflicted with a disease now know as "lycanthropy". This is a compound word "lycos", which means "wolf" and "anthropos", which means "man". This gives os the meaning "wolfman". This refers to a person who lives like and animal. It is a serious mental condition! This great king before whom million trembled in fear has been reduced to a pathetic, repulsive, ugly beast. God knew how to get Nebuchadnezzar's attention!) (Note: Just for the record, God also knows how to get our attention too. He knows what it will take to turn your heart to Him and He will not hesitate to touch that area of your life when the need arises. It is a dangerous game when people try to make God blink! When He is on your trail, He will do everything in His power to have you. Resistence is futile!)

C. V. 25, 37 The Duration Of His Punishment - Nebuchadnezzar is told that his judgment will continue until he comes to the place of acknowledging God as his Ruler. This leads me to believe that had Nebuchadnezzar repented before the judgment came, he might have been spared the hell he had to endure. Since he refused to acknowledge the Lord as God, he was brought under the lash of judgment, and he remained there for 7 years. (Note: If you are out of the Lord's will and the chastisement of God has not come upon your life yet, that means there is still time to repent. I would advise you to listen to the call of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. Repent while there is time. If you are not saved and your are not in Hell, I challenge you to come before the Lord and receive Jesus into your heart. Judgment can be avoided if God is acknowledged and exalted as He should be, 1 Cor. 11:31.)


(Ill. Nebuchadnezzar finally comes to himself and sees the great glory of God. I believe this man had an actual conversion experience, and that we will see him some day in Heaven. As evidence of his conversion, Nebuchadnezzar gives a loud testimony so that all the people in his kingdom will know what has happened to him.)

A. 4:1-3 It Was A Public Proclamation - He did not hide what the Lord has done in his life. He boldly and publically proclaimed the glorious truth that he had experienced the God of Heaven for himself. In this public proclamation, the king gives bold testimony to his newfound faith in God. (Note: When we come to the place where pride has been broken, we will find that we are not ashamed to tell the world what Jesus has done for us! It is pride that prevents us from publically acknowledging God and His work in our lives.)

B. 4:2, 34, 37 It Was A Personal Proclamation - Notice how the king continually reminds us what the Lord has done for him personally. It is one thing to be able to relate what the Lord has done for others, but it is something altogether different to say, "This is what God has done for me!" (Note: The people of God should never hesitate to tell this world, and one another, about the great things the Lord has done in our lives. We should all have a public proclamation of praise to God that demands to be released! What has the Lord done for you? Tell someone else about it!)

C. 4:34-37 It Was A Powerful Proclamation - As the king relates all the Lord has done for him, you will notice the change in his character that is evident in his words. No longer is he threatening people who speak against God. He does not say that God is a great God among other gods. Here, he just praises the Lord for what God has done for Him. He acknowledges God to be the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. He declares the glory of God for all to hear and he does so without shame or reservation. He tells his subjects that he is walking with God. His last words serve as a warning to everyone who walks in pride before the Lord: He is able to bring you down! (Note: Nebuchadnezzar gives good evidence of a life changed by the power of God! Note how the attention is off himself and his accomplishments. Now, he spends his time exalting the Lord Who has intervened in and changed his life. That is a good example for you and me this evening. We need to experience what this man has. I am not referring to the suffering he endured, but we all need to come to the place where God fills our hearts, our lives and our vision. We all need to be in a place where our lives and lips give powerful testimony to His life changing power.)

Conc: What will it take to get you and me in a place where we are willing to bow to God's power? What will it take to bring us to the place where we will freely bring honor and glory to His name?

For a famous singer by the name of Charlotte Elliot it took the direct confrontation of a preacher by the name of Caesar Milan. In London, long ago, there was a concert to which many famous people were invited. Among them was the preacher Milan. When the show was over, Milan approached Mrs. Elliot and said, "I thought as I listened to you tonight how tremendously the cause of Christ would be benefitted if your talents were dedicated to His cause. You know, young lady, you are a sinner in the sight of God, but I am glad to tell you that the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse you from all sin."

The singer became so angry that she stomper her feet and walked away. As she was going, the preacher said, "I mean no offense. I will pray that God's Spirit will convict you."

When she got home and tried to go to sleep, the preacher's face and words kept coming to her mind. Her sleep was disturbed and she was under terrible conviction over her sins. At about 2 o'clock in the morning she got out of her bed, took a pencil and a peice of paper, and with tears running down her cheeks, Charlotte Elliot wrote these words:

Just as I am, without one plea,

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that thou biddest me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

For this young woman it took a bold witness. For others it takes far more drastic means to get their attention. What will it take in your life before you are saved? What will it take before you give it all fully and finally to God?

If there are issues that need to be settled, this altar is open and the help you need can be found right here.

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