The Testimony of Nebuchadnezzar

Scripture Passage: 
Daniel 4:1-37
Attached audio files: 

INTRODUCTION: This chapter deals with the dangerous consequences of pride. Nebuchadnezzar told the story as a personal testimony. He told how the most powerful man in the world (himself) was brought low in a moment by God. Then, at a later date, he told how he was restored to his former position—though as a wiser man than before.

  1. THE PURPOSE OF THE TESTIMONY (Daniel 4:1-3)
    1. The Greeting of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:1)
      1. A greeting to all
      2. A greeting of multiplied peace
    2. His Personal Testimony (Daniel 4:2)
      1. A testimony that teaches – it was “good to shew the signs and wonders.”
      2. A testimony of God’s doings
    3. His Praise of God (Daniel 4:3)
      1. His works: signs and wonders
      2. His kingdom: everlasting (Psalm 145:13; Revelation 11:15)
      3. His dominion: from generation to generation
  2. THE DREAM OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR (Daniel 4:4-18)
    1. The Coming of His Dream (Daniel 4:4-5)
      1. When he was at rest (Daniel 4:4)
      2. When he was flourishing (Daniel 4:4)
      3. When he was on his bed (Daniel 4:5)
      4. Then he was disturbed (Daniel 4:5).
    2. The Ignorance of His Wise Men (Daniel 4:6-7)
      1. His decree to bring in the wise men (Daniel 4:6)
      2. Their ignorance of the meaning of the dream (Daniel 4:7)
    3. The Wisdom of Daniel (Daniel 4:8-9)
      1. The coming of Daniel (Daniel 4:8)
        1. Named Belteshazzar according to the name of Nebuchadnezzar’s god
        2. In whom was the spirit of the holy gods (Note: this was Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony and told from his understanding.)
      2. His confidence in Daniel (Daniel 4:9)
        1. As master of the magicians
        2. As the one who was troubled by no secret
        3. As one who could tell the dream and the interpretation
    4. The Account of His Dream (Daniel 4:10-17)
      1. The tree (Daniel 4:10-12)
        1. The location of the tree: in the midst of the earth (Daniel 4:10)
        2. The greatness of the tree (Daniel 4:10-11)
          1. The height thereof was great (Daniel 4:10).
          2. The tree grew and was strong (Daniel 4:11).
            1. Its height reached unto heaven.
            2. Its sight reached unto the end of the earth.
        3. The produce of the tree (Daniel 4:12)
          1. Its leaves were fair.
          2. Its fruit was much.
        4. The shade of the tree (Daniel 4:12)
          1. The beasts of the field had shadow under it.
          2. The fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof.
      2. The messenger (Daniel 4:13)
        1. A watcher
        2. An holy one
      3. The message (Daniel 4:14-15)
        1. The tree to be cut down (Daniel 4:14)
          1. Hew down the tree.
          2. Cut off his branches.
          3. Shake off his leaves.
          4. Scatter his fruit.
          5. Scatter the beasts and fowls.
        2. The stump to remain (Daniel 4:15)
          1. With his roots in the earth
          2. In the tender grass of the field
          3. Wet with the dew of heaven
          4. Taking his portion with the beasts in the grass of the earth
      4. The meaning (Daniel 4:16)
        1. His heart to be changed from a man’s to a beast’s heart
        2. Seven times to pass over him
      5. The purpose (Daniel 4:17)
        1. That the living may know the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men
        2. That the living may know the most High giveth the power to reign to whomsoever He will, and chooses the basest of men
    5. His Request for the Interpretation (Daniel 4:18)
      1. The wise men were not able.
      2. But Daniel was able.
  3. THE INTERPRETATION OF THE DREAM (Daniel 4:19-27)
    1. The Reception of the Interpretation by Daniel (Daniel 4:19)
      1. He was astonied [overcome with astonishment; bewildered] for one hour.
      2. He was troubled in his thoughts.
      3. “The dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.”
    2. The Identity of the Tree (Daniel 4:20-22)
      1. The description of the tree (Daniel 4:20-21)
      2. The king was the tree (Daniel 4:22).
        1. Grown to greatness
        2. Reaching unto heaven
        3. Spreading his dominion over the earth
    3. The Message of the Watcher (Daniel 4:23-25)
      1. The word of the messenger (Daniel 4:23)
      2. The coming of the word on Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:24)
      3. The interpretation of the message (Daniel 4:25)
        1. The king to be driven from among men
        2. The king to make his dwelling with the beasts of the field
        3. The king to eat grass like the oxen
        4. The king to be wet with the dew of heaven
        5. The king to continue this way until seven times pass over [Note: evidently, a period of seven years since a “time” in Daniel (Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7) generally refers to a year.]
      4. The purpose of the king’s ordeal (Daniel 4:25)
        1. That he might know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men
        2. That he might know that the most High allows men to rule over the kingdoms of the earth according to His will
    4. The Security of the Kingdom (Daniel 4:26)
      1. As the stump of the tree was to be left
      2. So the kingdom would be secured to the king.
    5. The Counsel of Daniel (Daniel 4:27)
      1. Break off your sins by righteousness.
      2. Break off your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.
      3. These things may be the lengthening of thy tranquility.
  4. THE FULFILLMENT OF THE DREAM (Daniel 4:28-33)
    1. The Time of Fulfillment (Daniel 4:28-29)
      1. The dream was certainly fulfilled (Daniel 4:28).
      2. The time of fulfillment was at the end of twelve months (Daniel 4:29).
    2. The Pride of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:30)
      1. In the greatness of the kingdom of Babylon
      2. In the might of his power and the honour of his majesty
    3. The Departure of the Kingdom (Daniel 4:31)
      1. The word of pride in his mouth (compare Isaiah 14:12-15)
      2. The word of departure from the Lord
    4. The Madness of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:32-33)
      1. The reminder of the dream (Daniel 4:32)
      2. The fulfillment of the dream (Daniel 4:33); until his hair was like the feathers of an eagle and his nails were like the claws of a bird
  5. THE DECLARATION OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR (Daniel 4:34-37)
    1. His Praise of the Most High (Daniel 4:34-35)
      1. Restored to his right mind (Daniel 4:34)
      2. Blessing the Most High (Daniel 4:34)
      3. Changed in his perspective (Daniel 4:35)
        1. The weakness of the inhabitants of earth
        2. The greatness of the power of God
    2. The Restoration of the Kingdom (Daniel 4:36)
    3. His Final Statement of Praise (Daniel 4:37)

CONCLUSION: Pride is not the exclusive possession of great or powerful people. We must all deal with the working of pride in our hearts. How does pride show itself in you? What are the dangers of this pride? How can we deal with it so that we do not have to go through an experience similar to that of Nebuchadnezzar?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:7

The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.