“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.” (Daniel 4:36—37)
Pride is a terrible thing. It blinds us from the truth and causes our hearts to be conceited and puffed up. Nebuchadnezzar saw what the God of Daniel could do when he saved the three Hebrew lads from the hot burning furnace. He gave a decree to his kingdom that no one from that day forward should defy the God of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego. But his heart was proud.
One night he had a dream from the Holy one of a tree that grew so tall and large that many birds of the air and animals enjoyed its comfort. However, in the dream, the tree became stronger and proud of what it had accomplished and offered. King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to know the meaning of the dream. Because in the dream, the tree was cut down. Daniel told him the meaning of the dream and what will happen. Nebuchadnezzar, you are that tree. You grew stronger and became proud.
Daniel also advised him to avoid being cut down because of pride. Daniel said, 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. At that time, he didn’t accept Daniel’s advice and suffered the consequences of his pride. He was cut down and made low to live with the animals for seven years and eat grass like an ox until he repented.
Nebuchadnezzar did repent later after suffering the consequences of his pride. I love how He humbled himself, and his sanity was restored to him. Everything that devastated him and destroyed his dignity was RETURNED to him when he humbled himself and accepted Daniel’s advice.
God never punished anyone. We are punished by our pride and unwillingness to humble ourselves and do the right thing. If Nebuchadnezzar had listened to Daniel’s advice to do what is right, to be kind and love people, he would’ve not found himself eating grass. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Repentance is always God’s way of restoring me to where I need to be. No repentance, no restoration to God’s purpose.
I need to repent immediately when the Holy Spirit reveals the ugly condition of my heart daily. I learned today that repentance is the only way to be restored back to God’s purpose and will. I need to make repentance a way of life. Repentance is good for the heart to learn humility and develop and sensitive spirit to the Holy Spirit daily.
Jesus, help me to humble myself under your mighty hand. Lead me and guide me to live in humility. Please help me to repent often when your Holy Spirit points out areas in my life that feed my pride. Teach me your humility. Teach me your heart and help me be humble daily. I need you, Jesus; amen!