We have all been there — going about our daily lives and things seem to be going pretty well, and then something happens and our lives seem to be falling apart. Before King Nebuchadnezzar has his dream, he was “at home in my palace, contented and prosperous” (Dan. 4:4). He was king of one of the greatest and far-reaching kingdoms, he was rich, powerful, seemed to be in good health, had a kingdom full of subjects and slaves to do all his bidding, and he was content.
God will create a need for His purposes. He sent the king a dream from a holy messenger that frightened him and “threw him off his game”. The dream made him realize that he–the king of Babylon who had all that he wanted–didn’t have the wisdom to interpret the meaning of the frightening dream. God had allowed Nebuchadnezzar to have victories, but the king never realized that he was accomplishing God’s purpose. God allowed the king to deport the best young Jewish men to his palace as servants. One of these young men was Daniel, who would change the king’s life.
The Lord God gave Daniel the meaning of the king’s dream that Daniel then relayed to the king. He told the king that the tree in the dream was the king himself–great in power–but that the Lord would cut down the tree but leave a stump. “While its roots remain in the ground…let him live with wild animals until seven times pass by for him” (Dan 4:23). And then he gave him the reason for this judgment, “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. 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.” (Dan. 4:25-26). The message from the Lord was received and heard, but the king didn’t choose to heed the message.
Yesterday we talked about the person you may have dropped from your prayer list–the “Nebuchadnezzar” in your own life that I encouraged you to put back on the list. While we are not responsible for someone’s choosing to accept Christ, we are told to tell others about Him (Matt. 28:19-20). “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our message?’ Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word about Christ.” (Rom. 10:14-17)
And when we share His good news, we are to “let the message of Christ dwell among you richly” (Col 3:16). That means that our lives are to reflect Jesus, so that our words will match with the way that we live. “But if anyone obeys His Word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:5-6) And He will refine us into Christ’s image for the remainder of our earthly lives. If we need to be reminded to humble ourselves and let go of our own pride, He may create a need in us as well. Many times He will need to remind us that His “grace is sufficient” for us.
God created a need in Nebuchadnezzar’s life to get his attention. He will do the same in our own “Nebuchadnezzars”. The Holy Spirit is working on their hearts to allow His revelation to get through their calloused hearts. We are called to lift them up in prayer, to share His hope with them, and to love them. When others see our faith, they want to come into the light. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see…And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Heb 11:1, 6) Continue to pray for your own “Nebuchadnezzar”, and ask the Lord for the wisdom in how you can share the only hope we have–Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”