“All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, ‘Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?’ While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.’ Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.
“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’ Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.’” Daniel 4:28-35,37
Sometimes God has to do drastic things to get our attention, and to teach us once for all that He rules. Although many wicked kings have reigned without turning to their Maker, the Almighty had different plans for Babylon’s Nebuchadnezzar. He gave him a dream, and the confused, frightened king asked Daniel to interpret. All Daniel spoke came to be, and God’s purposes were fulfilled as He had decreed: “till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will;.. that heaven rules.” (Daniel 4:25-26)
For this pompous king, he lost mental health, reputation, position. Everything he valued and boasted about was stripped away until he realized that God was his all in all, the only real Master. For us, our Redeemer might crumble our kingdoms, remove our objects of inordinate affection and pride, our superficial securities in anything we hold too dear, to urge our attention and win our full allegiance. He has every right, and pulses with holy jealousy, to extricate our idols and replace our boasting with humble gratitude and highest praise to Him.
Lord God, identify any charm I have set above You, and lift my exaltation to You alone. May I so live that all “living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)