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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Daniel 4:36-37, "At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellers and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.  Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."

This morning, we desire to investigate the last recorded thoughts of a man's life. The verses above
dictate to us the last known actions of King Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon). Further, these thoughts brought forth bear resemblance, and yet a striking contrast, to some of his earlier thoughts.  In this investigation, we will try to discover what can be learned through judgment for our benefit today to keep ourselves from having to experience like things to discover these great truths. In reference to that, it is often popular (though wrong) to say, "Experience is the best teacher." This thought fails at its heart to see that experience (while an effective teacher) is certainly not always the best.  The best teacher is God Himself (and through His Scriptures) that instruct us in the way that we should go. Further still, cases like Nebuchadnezzar show that another's experience can keep us from falling into like circumstance and still learn the great truths that he understood at the end of his historical record.

Nebuchadnezzar utters these glowing truths about God and His sovereignty after being struck down for seven
years like a beast of the field. He ate grass like an ox, had feathers like an eagle, claws like a bird, and he was driven from men to have the dew on his back for all that time. At the end of this trial, he blesses the most High with reverent tones that indicate his understanding of God's might, power, and dominion.  Now, let us look back on Nebuchadnezzar's life (for a brief moment) to see some earlier declarations he made of God Almighty to see the similarities but also the differences. In doing so, we will find that he understood "some" things about God prior to this event, but the extent of his knowledge (or perhaps the extent of his abasement of pride) was not as great as it was later in life.

In Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that he cannot remember, and Daniel reveals the dream and also
the interpretation of it. After the revelation from Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar gives a "semi-reverent" admission of God. (Daniel 2:47) He admits to the God of Daniel, but he fails in admitting that He is the only one. Daniel's God is "a God of gods" and "Lord of kings." So, Nebuchadnezzar admits to His presence, but fails in admitting to the power, place, and authority that the Lord has of being the only Creator, the only God, and the only Revealer of secrets and mysteries. Many times today, we, by our actions, admit no less. We claim the admission of God, but we place Him among the rest of our "gods" that we admit to serving at times and seasons. Nebuchadnezzar was not willing (at this point) to fall down and serve the God of Daniel as the true and living God. Rather, he admits of some ability but not the fullness of God's sovereignty over His creation.

Moving into Daniel 3, we see the account of the three Hebrew children (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah)being thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to bow down and worship the image that Nebuchadnezzar set
up. After the deliverance from the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar makes another admission of God that is better than the one before, but not to the degree and honour that God rightfully deserves. (Daniel 3:28-29)
This admission by Nebuchadnezzar "almost" would seem  fitting and proper for the God of heaven and earth.
He admits that God is the only one that can deliver after this sort, and he further decrees that no words
of disparagement would be cast at the Hebrews' God or suffer the wrath and consequence of being cut in
pieces by the king. Notice that Nebuchadnezzar has still not fully admitted to the point (the pivotal point) that He is the only one! Before, he declares God to be the God of gods in the ability of revelation. Now, he admits that God is the only one with the power of this degree of deliverance. So, what is the harm in this statement?

If we admit to God's power and revelation, what could still be lacking in our service? Nebuchadnezzar
is still not at this point willing to serve the Lord and Him only. We today may admit to God being above
all in power and ability, but the point remains that He ONLY is worthy of praise. Nebuchadnezzar was
stripped of thinking that his gods could reveal and save. He came to understand that God Almighty could
only deliver after such a sort. We can be brought to the same understanding in our lives when we see the
revelation of the mystery and display of God's power in our lives. Yet, we can still (after all our gods
are stripped of ability) cling to one that is the hardest (for our pride) to abase. The last "god" that Nebuchadnezzar would have removed (in chapter 4) is himself. His declaration of the consequences for
blaspheming God are fitting consequences for a king to utter as an edict. But, chapter 4 reveals that
Nebuchadnezzar still had thoughts of his own beauty and majesty. He had yet to remove his perception of
divinity within himself.

So, chapter 4 shows the abasement of Nebuchadnezzar and the understanding that God ONLY is worthy of
worship. He only is worthy of service. He is worthy to be served with all of our being. He alone is sovereign. He alone is deserving of adulation in this earth, and He is able to abase whom He will (whether an earthly king does or not). What we learn from Nebuchadnezzar's journey is that we do not "have" to experience these same things to come to this understanding. Granted, this was a very effective method for Nebuchadnezzar to gain this understanding, but notice that he declares this a reasonable thing.  His reason returned to him, and true reason (of a spiritual design) will understand the sovereignty of God. It is quite unreasonable to think that there is not a Sovereign over this universe. It is quite unreasonable to think that chaos and randomness govern the worlds. Let us learn from the Scriptures the lessons of God and His power (Romans 15:4) so that we
would have hope in this world and not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.

In Hope,

Bro Philip