4/25/23 Devotional from Ed
April 25, 2023
Text: Daniel 4:28-34
28All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30and the king said, “Is this not magnificent Babylon, which I have built as a royal capital by my mighty power and for my glorious majesty?” 31While the words were still in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven: “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: The kingdom has departed from you! 32You shall be driven away from human society, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you have learned that the Most High has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals and gives it to whom he will.” 33Immediately the sentence was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven away from human society, ate grass like oxen, and his body was bathed with the dew of heaven, until his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails became like birds’ claws.
34When that period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me. I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored the one who lives forever. For his sovereignty is an everlasting sovereignty, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
Verse 30 sounds like it could be applied to all of humanity, especially those times when we get a little caught up in ourselves: “I have built,” “my mighty power,” “my glorious majesty.”
Do we boast to make ourselves feel better? Do we boast to make us feel more powerful than someone else? Both?
As we know, however, we will be humbled at some point down the road. Read again what happens in verse 31, and as one commentator writes, “The king suffers the fate which humans fear the most, exclusion from the human family, abandonment, and alienation.”
While it’s highly unlikely we’ll lose our membership in the humanity club when we get boastful, it is likely that we’ll indirectly (maybe directly) turn off those in our own spheres. More importantly, it alienates us from our creator.
But, there’s good news.
Just like the king was given another chance in verse 34, we get another chance daily. Each day gives us a chance to walk humbly with our God, and when we say the prayer of confession each Sunday, we're reminded that while we all fall short, God cleanses us.
May we be open to receiving that cleansing AND lift our eyes to heaven this day and beyond.
Prayer: Holy God, we ask for a fresh anointing of your Spirit today. May we be mindful of the humility of being a human, a human that is dependent upon you. Empower us to be still and know that YOU are God. Amen.
Towner, W. Sibley. Daniel: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. James Mays, Patrick Miller, Paul Achtemeier, eds. (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1984), 63.