Dan 4:19-37, Raise your eyes toward the heaven
Dan 4:19-37, Raise your eyes toward the heaven
19 Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries!
20 The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth,
21 with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the wild animals, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds—
22 Your Majesty, you are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.
23 “Your Majesty saw a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’
24 “This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king:
25 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.
26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.
27 Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”
28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.
29Twelve months later,as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon,
30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.
32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”
36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
If man becomes a beast, and the beast becomes man again, it will become the world's top news, right? But today's Bible is more amazing than this. King Nebuchadnezzar, the world's greatest ruler at the time, had a dream of a big tree. Daniel interprets this dream, which is God's will. This tree is the king, and it is God who has blessed the king. But as the king walked on the roof of the palace, he was intoxicated with his deeds, and he exalted himself with pride (30). In the end, the king lost everything and became like a beast according to the order of the watcher (29, 31, 32). However, God left the stump of the root (the hope of restoration) behind (15,23,26), waiting for the king to be judged for one year, and He endured (27). However, the king missed this opportunity and eventually lost everything and was judged by living in the field like a beast (29, 31). But God gave him another chance, and when he looked up to heaven (34), he restored his understanding (humanity), the kingship, and his relationship with the people (34,36). And he testified of God to the whole world. It was truly a miracle and a wonderful thing. Let's apply some of the lessons from this incident.
1. Let us humbly give thanks for the blessings God has given us.
It was only a blessing from God that the king built the great Babylonian city and ruled the great Babylonian empire for several decades. Still, when he was proud of himself without giving thanks to God (30), he lost his kingship and was punished by God for living like a beast. When he was arrogant, he was abandoned by God, deprived of his intelligence (humanity), and became a madman, leaving the people as well. Therefore, let us humbly thank God for His grace and experience His grace.
2. God gives us hope, repentance, and opportunity for restoration (34-37).
When the king listened to Daniel's advice (27), he did not practice to forgive sins by doing justice and forgiving sins by showing mercy to the poor. He didn't take advantage of the opportunity to evade the referee given a year. So he became like a beast. However, after 7 years(?), a miraculous thing happened to him. In the midst of His wrath, God continues to give us the opportunity to repent and the hope of restoration through repentance. So the king looked up to heaven. He looked up to “the Most High God” (repeated and emphasized 6 times in Ch. 4). He acknowledged the sovereignty of God and boasted of God.
Looking up at the heaven is 1) looking forward to God, who is the great ruler of heaven and earth. 2) To depart from the center of self or the world. 3) To repent to God. 4) To go ahead, put your hope in that God and ask for help. 5) This is an attitude of praying to Almighty God. As King Nebuchadnezzar looked up to heaven in this way, the king was healed of a lycandrophy. In addition, intelligence(humanity) was restored, kingship was restored, and relations with the people were restored (34,36). Let us also experience the grace of restoration by acknowledging the sovereignty of the Lord and boasting only of the Lord.
3. The restored king confessed and praised God (34,37).
The world's greatest king who worshiped foreign gods praised and glorified the Most High, the eternal God, the eternal ruler, the absolute sovereign God, the true and righteous God, and the God who humbles the proud. He confessed that he is the only God to be praised and honored and glorified forever and ever (34,37). All rulers should fear the Lord and always think about how to use the authority God has given for His kingdom. We must strive to use our authority over the world for the sake of the kingdom of God.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are the people of God who believe in the Most High Jesus, the Jesus of eternal life, the eternal Jesus, the absolute Sovereign Jesus, and the Jesus who humbles the proud. We pray that we all look up to the Lord, acknowledge and praise God's sovereignty, enjoy the blessings the Lord restores, and live a dignified life that boasts the Lord of life to our neighbors. Amen.