BOOK OF DANIEL – God Humbles Everyone

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – God Humbles Everyone

God Humbles Everyone

Prior to the non-biblical narrative that we have spent time discussing, we had read Daniel 4:1-2. Let’s remind ourselves of what is said. “Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language that live in all the earth: “May your peace abound! It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me.” (NASB) In Daniel 4:3 we see why Nebuchadnezzar’s declaration seemed good for him to declare. He told everyone in his declaration, “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.” (NASB) Nebuchadnezzar is praising God here. Before we go on, we need to understand the structure of this particular chapter.

First, this is the last time we read anything on Nebuchadnezzar. His part in history and the Biblical narrative ends in this chapter. I mention this so you can understand the structure more readily. Some scholars (wrongly) assume that the first three verses of Daniel chapter four, which are contained as the last three Scriptures in chapter three in the Aramaic version, are correct. They suggest that it was the final declaration by Nebuchadnezzar after God saved Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (perhaps known better to us by the names Nebuchadnezzar’s eunuch gave them: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). But this is incorrect. At the end of chapter three Nebuchadnezzar praises the Israelites’ God (Daniel 3:28). In verse twenty-nine he makes a decree to those in attendance not to speak anything against the God of the three men. Finally, in verse thirty, he promotes them. These scholars conclude that Daniel 4:1 refers to the same people mentioned in Daniel 3:7, but it does not. They inadvertently take Daniel 3:7 out of context. You can see why when you look at Daniel 3:1-2. This passage details who Nebuchadnezzar ordered to be present to bow down to the image of gold. Daniel 3:7 is referring to this same group of people. Daniel 4:1 is a declaration to ALL the people who were under the rule of Babylon. Hence, the majority of theologians and scholars believe, as do I, that the first three verses of Daniel chapter four are correctly placed.

Secondly, while these verses are correctly placed, you must read them in the correct context. Nebuchadnezzar is relating the story of all that had already happened to him, which we read in Daniel 4:4-37. Before he relays the events that occurred and befell him, he is stating right at the start of his declaration (so none of the people misunderstand him in any way) that he is giving all praise and honor to God (Daniel 4:1-3). Some suggest he should have left his praise until the end of Daniel chapter four. But he already does, as can be seen in Daniel 4:34-37. I am persuaded that Nebuchadnezzar meant to, and insisted on, giving all praise and honor to God both at the end and the beginning of the contents of chapter four. The readers of this chapter should note that it is written after the events had already happened. When we recognize that, it will make more sense of how it is presented to us.

We have no idea as to the timeframe of this writing by Nebuchadnezzar and to whether it was written immediately after all of the events or a little time later, just prior to Nebuchadnezzar dying. It certainly was written close to the end of his reign. The contents at the end of the chapter prove this to be the case. When we move into Chapter Five Nebuchadnezzar has been dead for several years, which also supports the timeline of Chapter Four detailing the end of his reign.

What is apparent as we go through each verse is that God can, and will, humble all men. God can, does, and will establish whom He sees fit to appoint as rulers during this period of Gentile rule. Emperors, Kings, Queens, Presidents, Prime Ministers and Dictators have ruled and continue to rule by the order of God for the simple fact to fulfill His plans and purposes. Some may find it hard to acknowledge this fact in seeing how many of these leaders in the past or present have conducted themselves. But such thinking does not recognize the state of fallen man. There is not one person who has ever lived who has not been stained with the corruption of sin. Men have elevated themselves to where they believe there is no God. Some have even suggested that they, themselves, are gods and demand such worship. But every one of them is there for a purpose and plan of God. And every one of them, whether in their earthly life or the life to come, will answer and humble themselves to God in acknowledgment of His authority over all things. Nebuchadnezzar is a wonderful example of how God deals with the stubbornness of man. Rejecting God not once, not twice, but three times resulted in him finally submitting to God. Babylonian history does not record any of this record and we should not be surprised. They would hardly record a world empire and their monarch submitting to a higher authority. But there is coming a time as Paul told us in Romans 14:11,

“For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.”” (NASB)

As we continue our reading we will learn just how God humbled Nebuchadnezzar.