Friday, May 25, 2012

Nebuchadnezzar's Nightmare

                                           Nebuchadnezzar’s Nightmare

In Daniel 2:30 Daniel was given understanding of king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of an image as well as the thoughts of Nebuchadnezzar’s own deceived heart . In verse 34  “ a stone was cut out without hands , which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay , and brake them to pieces . “  Not only did the image of the head of gold , breast and arms of silver , belly and thighs of brass ,  legs of iron and feet that were made of iron and clay represent the four world dictatorships , but it represented man’s own misconception of himself without Christ . Christ privileged Nebuchadnezzar to foretaste God’s judgment regarding Nebuchadnezzar’s pride for believing himself to be God upon this earth , as have the Caesars , and as will the antichrist . All men and women who have not trusted Christ as Saviour and Lord essentially view themselves in the same light , which is actually darkness . Some are fortunate enough to be humbled , as was Nebuchadnezzar .

When Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s troubling dream , ( which none of the wise men or sorcerers could interpret ) , Nebuchadnezzar  “ fell upon his face and worshipped Daniel . “   Nebuchadnezzar should not have worshipped Daniel , but rather , Daniel’s God , of whom Nebuchadnezzar finally acknowledged ; “  Of a truth it is , that your God is a God of gods , and a Lord of kings , and a revealer of secrets , seeing thou couldest reveal this secret . “  After revealing Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to the king , the Babylonian Jewish captive Daniel was granted the right to sit in “ the gate of the king . “  Though Nebuchadnezzar had gained some insight thus far regarding God’s power and nature , he still had much to learn about the One in whom even the devils believed and trembled .

In the third chapter of the book of  Daniel king Nebuchadnezzar threw Daniel’s friends Shadrach , Meshach , and Abednego into his fiery furnace because they would not worship Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image of himself . Their choice to suffer the affliction of a fiery death rather than betray the God they served in captivity helped draw Nebuchadnezzar yet again a little closer to the God whom he saw walking with them in the fiery furnace . After their miraculous deliverance Nebuchadnezzar said this ; “ Blessed be the God of Shadrach , Meshach , and Abednego , who hath sent his angel , and delivered his servants that trusted in him and have changed the kings words and yielded their bodies , that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God . “  

After this , Nebuchadnezzar decreed that nobody in the world speak anything amiss against the Jewish believers’ God lest they be cut in pieces and their houses made a dunghill . Nebuchadnezzar was learning , but he had a more difficult lesson ahead about worshipping the only wise God of heaven and earth . Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that soon his heart would become the heart of a beast for seven years . God’s reason for doing this to him was ; “ that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men , and giveth it to whomsoever he will , and setteth up over it the basest of men . “

Nebuchadnezzar himself  “ saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven “ tell of his own coming fate ; that he would live as a beast of the field eating grass as an ox for seven years .

Daniel warned Nebuchadnezzar to break off his sins by righteousness , and his iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor . Twelve months later Nebuchadnezzar said ; “ Is not this great Babylon , that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power , and for the honor of my majesty ? While the word was in the king’s mouth , there fell a voice from heaven , saying , “ O king Nebuchadnezzar , to thee it is spoken ; The kingdom is departed from thee . “

The same hour his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails became as birds’ claws , as his body was wet with the dew of heaven while eating grass like oxen . After seven years of clambering as a wild animal Nebuchadnezzar ‘s mind returned to him , and he blessed the most High and praised and honored him that liveth for ever , by referencing him as he whose dominion , and his kingdom is from generation to generation , finally realizing that those like himself who walk in pride God is able to abase .

Many deaf , dumb, blind , lame , lunatics , lepers , demon-possessed , and other sinners have come to know Christ as Saviour and Lord  through similarly traumatic experiences , undergoing years of physical , emotional and spiritual torture , which , unbeknownst to them at the time , was God’s way of drawing them to himself . A few Biblical passages reveal this , one of them being in the ninth chapter of John in which the disciples asked Jesus whether a blind man’s own sins or those of his parents caused him to be born
blind . Jesus said that God had purposely made him that way for God’s own glory and that familial sin was not the reason for his blindness . The world’s familial sin is unbelief in Christ ; spiritual blindness .

Another similar passage is Psalm 119 : 75  which reads ; “ I know , O LORD , that thy judgments are right , and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me . “

Psalm 119 : 71 reads ; “ It is good for me that I have been afflicted , that I might learn thy statutes . “

Until you have had a Nebuchadnezzar experience , coming to realize that you are only living dust which God may blow away at any time he desires , it may be difficult for you to come to know the One who controls heaven and earth and essentially hell itself . Jesus had appropriately addressed some of his own prophets as “ sons of dust “ , perhaps  rhetorically preventing some of them from experiencing a Nebuchadnezzar-like nightmare . Jonah needed only a three day nightmare to bring him to his senses .

The learned apostle Paul , who had persecuted Jesus , came to realize that he himself was “ nothing “ after meeting him . He also stated that “ neither is he that planteth anything , neither he that watereth ; but God that giveth the increase …For if a man think himself to be something , when he is nothing , he deceiveth himself . "
Most people are as hardheaded and self-confident as Nebuchadnezzar . Jesus said without me you can do nothing . Every breath you take is a gift from God . Jesus said , “ As many as I love I rebuke and chasten “ , just as earthly fathers rebuke their own sons for the son’s benefit . Jesus also said in a verse shortly following John 3:16 that ; “ He that believeth on him is not condemned : but he that believeth not is condemned already , because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God . “

Those who do not similarly reach Nebuchadnezzar’s conclusion that Daniel’s God is able to abase those that walk in pride of life , and do not trust his Son as Saviour , will some day realize their lives consisted of surrealistic deceptions dispatched by demons , delivering them into an endless nightmare which will make Nebuchadnezzar’s seven years of physical , mental , emotional , and spiritual torture seem brief .   

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