"An Inside Perspective"

April 2015


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In the book of Daniel chapter four we have the story of King Nebuchadnezzar (Neb-ah-cud-nezz-er). He had just witnessed God's miraculous delivery of three young Hebrew men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, from the fiery furnace. He was astonished by the works of the God of Heaven, but he was not yet humbled in his heart. What is not done in the heart…is not done.

In Nebuchadnezzar’s mind, he was at the center of his own universe. And so, he made a decree that would go out to all people in all the lands. It is written, "I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. How great are His signs! And how mighty are His wonders! His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom and His dominion is from generation to generation." (Dan. 4: 2-3)

The king wanted to share with all the people the wonders of God, that, according to his perspective, were done on his behalf. He said in the proclamation that the works were "wrought toward me." How wrong he was. God was actually delivering His people, according to their bold declaration of faith, from the wickedness of the king's selfish pride. Nebuchadnezzar did not see it that way, indeed, he thought himself to be the focus of all things. Pride puffs up, blinding us from what is true. As we will learn shortly, it is written, "Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov.16:18)

King Nebuchadnezzar had no idea what was about to come his way. He was about to learn who the King of kings really was. Yes, he was about to go on a little "camping trip" as we like to say here in prison. Men go to the "hole" for a little “character development”. It is a "camping trip" designed by the Lord to break a man of his pride; a teaching trip as it were, where one learns the lesson of brokenness. Its design is to smite self at the root, withering one down to his rightful place of submission. Make no mistake, tight is the fist that clenches pride. It begs persuasion by His loving rod.

And so, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which showed him his future, but he did not understand the meaning of the dream. He called all the wise men of Babylon to interpret it for him, but no one was able. Finally, he called for godly Daniel and God gave Daniel the interpretation for the king; and it was so bad that Daniel was hesitant to tell the king what the dream meant. Daniel said, "My lord the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation to thine enemies. (Dan.4:25)

Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar that he was to be driven from among men to live with the beasts of the field until seven times had passed over (perhaps seven years), and so it came to pass. It is written, "...til thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will." (Dan.4:25) Finally, when all was said and done, the purpose of God was achieved and Nebuchadnezzar's pride was broken. It was done in his heart, thus truly done.

It is written, "At the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven and my understanding returned to me and I blessed the most High and I praised and honored Him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion and His Kingdom is from generation to generation. And all inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in all the army of Heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay His hand or say unto Him, ‘What doest Thou?’ Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of Heaven and all whose works are truth and His ways justice: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase." (Dan.4:34,35,37)

I myself had a kingdom once. A house, a business and all the trappings. I thought that I had built it by my own wisdom and strength, and as such, I had no need for God. When people shared the gospel with me the attitude of my heart was, "Do I look like I need a Savior?" My pride belched its own glory and quick was my fall.

Therefore, I too was driven into the wilderness on a "camping trip" as it were. I ate grass with the beasts of the field until "seven times passed over me." Then, my reason returned unto me and I acknowledged that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of Philip and giveth it to whomsoever He will.

Interestingly, it was about seven years from the time I first heard the gospel until I got saved. Today, I thank the Lord with all my heart that He did not pass me over completely and leave me in my sin, but instead, by grace, He used the persuasion of His loving rod to save my soul.

Maybe His loving rod is persuading your stubborn pride right now. He always makes sure we know why. Beloved, unclench your fist and receive a little character development lest you too end up on a…