Daniel 4: Nebuchadnezzar’s Proclamation
Nebuchadnezzar was an interesting guy. His relationship with God was kind of like a roller coaster. We began with him invading the people of God and taking them prisoner. Then, he heard from Daniel, and he thought that Daniel’s God was great because He gave Daniel the power to interpret dreams. You would think that that would do it, but relatively soon after, he put three men into a furnace for not bowing to his statue and therefore violating the law of that same God that he admired in Daniel. However, it seems that everything came full circle for Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4. This chapter is a proclamation that Nebuchadnezzar made quite a bit later in his life, and he had had one more experience with God that really made him a true believer.
Dan 4:29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
Dan 4:30 The king spake, and 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 honour of my majesty?
Dan 4:31 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.
Dan 4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
For seven years, Nebuchadnezzar literally lost his mind. After that length of time, he came back to normal, and no one he had no doubt that God was everything He said He was.
Dan 4:37 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 is a major life change. He went from a guy who was burning people who worship God to at least someone who is able to acknowledge the amazing power of the God of the Bible. Did he ultimately renounce all of his Babylonian gods? We don’t know, but at the very least he seemed to have a pretty dramatic change in perspective.
God has the power to do that. Whether or not Nebuchadnezzar ultimately turned away from idolatry is kind of beside the point. What is important is that God changes lives. Think about the apostle Paul. When he met Jesus Christ, he went from being a killer to a missionary. No one is ever beyond hope.