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A Proper Acknowledgment
12/29/2017

“After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever. His rule is everlasting, and his kingdom is eternal.” Daniel 4:34 (NKJV)

Here we are on the cusp of a new year, a new beginning, and a fresh start.  Many people will be celebrating in just a couple of days, as we usher in exchanging the old for the new.  There are those who will sit back and reflect on the past year, and they can wonder, “Where did it go?” and “What do I have to show for it?” And, yet there are others who will sit back and marvel at what they have accomplished. 

The story captured in the Book of Daniel is a story that each of us should want to know and remember, as we set our sites, paths, hopes, and goals for this upcoming year. 

King Nebuchadnezzar was a world leader of the Babylonian empire that had conquered many different kingdoms.  As he did this, he would steal the people’s valuables and add it to his personal wealth.  He would allow each of these conquered nations to continue to worship the false gods that they had chosen as a way to appease them.  This all changed when he conquered Judah.  You see, God had allowed this king to conquer all these kingdoms, including God’s own chosen people because they, too, had turned their backs on the real God, and had chosen false, pagan gods to worship instead. 

Nebuchadnezzar cared only about amassing more wealth, and power, and growing his personal empire.  He worshiped his lifestyle, and his possessions more than God.  So God sent him dreams showing him the future of how these things would be taken away because of this, unless he changed. 

You see, God demands exclusive worship; He does not want to be in competition with the attention we give to the things we possess, or the activities we invest our time into.  And this was the case with Nebuchadnezzar as the king was not willing to either humble himself nor admit that it was God who raised him up, but that would change.  The King was warned in his dreams given by God — dreams interpreted by a young prophet named Daniel.  And even though he acknowledged that Daniel’s God was in fact the true God, he continued to focus his attention on his own accomplishments, and credited only himself for achieving them. 

Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 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?”

The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. 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 (See Daniel 4:29-36).

And so for seven years this once mighty king now roamed around like a crazy insane person.  God had clearly warned him of the dangers in his pride, and then allowed him to live through seven years of insanity before restoring him to the throne.

Maybe we don’t rule over kingdoms, but this lesson should be clear to us.  When we shift our attentions to our own lives, to what we want, to what we believe we’ve accomplished, and to how much we have, we are unable to see what God has done, and how He is working within our lives. 

Maybe we won’t literally walk around insane and homeless for seven years, but will we really be any different than Nebuchadnezzar if we find ourselves running around like a chicken with our head cut off, crazily chasing false security, hope, and happiness through worldly possessions and meaningless relationships. 

We should learn from history, and those who have made mistakes, so we don’t make the same ones.  Nebuchadnezzar’s mistakes are our valuable knowledge.  Wisdom is the ability to take knowledge and apply it to our lives.  God’s Word is full of His knowledge and it will be a guide for those who seek to know the proper way in life.  Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way, and he had this to say about it:

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.” Daniel 4:37 (NIV)

When you reflect on this year, and set out for the new one, I would like to encourage you to think about what God has done for you — give Him all the praise, and then make a resolution to live in a way that will have purpose and meaning.

STUDY QUESITON: What was King Nebuchadnezzar’s response once he knew who God really was, as recorded in Daniel 4:34?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to acknowledge and worship God first and foremost?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek a meaningful relationship with God today, and make it one of your top New Year’s resolutions to read His Word daily.

PRAYER: Father, I acknowledge every worthy possession I have, and every good thing I have done is because of You. Thank You. Help me to continually see Your purpose for my life each day.  In Jesus’ name, amen…

 

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000