Date written: October 7th, 2007
Scripture ref: Daniel 4:1-3
SUBJECT: Pride, Humility
TITLE: Studies in Daniel – God's Preeminence
PROPOSITION: In this passage we have 1) A Message, 2) The Meaning, 3) A Mistake and a Misfit, 4) A Moral 5) Lessons from the text.
OBJECTIVE: That each of us would know and understand the destructive power of pride.
1. Read: Daniel 4:1-3
2. About the Text:
1) The book of Daniel takes place in the lands east of Palestine in modern day Iraq.
2) Daniel's life spans many years and over several rulers.
3) Chapter four occurs while Nebuchadnezzar is still king.
4) This chapter appears to be recorded from Nebuchadnezzar's perspective.
5) It seems to be a letter written from him to all the subjects in his kingdom.
6) The purpose of the letter is to show the great signs and wonders that God had done to him.
7) Nebuchadnezzar then praises God for his signs, wonders, and great kingdom.
8) Let's study together the chapter we're entitling God's Preeminence.
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: In this chapter we have . . .
I. A Message (Daniel 4:4-18)
1. The dream delivered (4-5).
1) Nebuchadnezzar was resting in his house.
2) He received a dream.
3) The dream made him afraid.
4) The thoughts and visions of the dream troubled him.
2. The decree to declare the dream (6-8).
1) Nebuchadnezzar decreed that all the wise men come before him.
2) He wanted them to interpret the dream for him.
3) None were able to do this.
4) Then Daniel arrived.
3. The dream declared (9-18).
1) Daniel is asked to interpret the dream
2) Nebuchadnezzar saw a tall tree in the middle of the earth.
3) This tree was so tall it could be seen throughout all the earth.
4) This tree provided for the birds and the beasts of the whole earth.
a. It provided beauty.
b. It provided protection.
c. It provided food.
d. It provided shelter.
5) Nebuchadnezzar then saw a watcher or holy one, a saint. (This may have been an angel of the highest order.)
6) The watcher shouted.
7) He said to cut down the tree, all of its branches, strip the leaves and scatter the fruit.
8) Nevertheless he said to leave the stump with a band of iron and brass.
9) Then the language changes from describing the tree to describing a man.
10) Dreams often change suddenly like this and without apparent reason.
11) He was to be wet with the dew of heaven.
12) He was to exist with the beasts of the earth.
13) His heart was to be changed from that of a man to a beast.
14) Seven times were to pass over him while he was in this state.
15) The decree was from the watchers and holy ones.
16) The decree was to let the living know that ...
a. The most High rules in the kingdom of men,
b. Gives it to whoever He wills,
c. And sets it up over the basest of men.
17) Nebuchadnezzar says that he saw this dream and expressed his confidence in Daniel to interpret it.
II. The Meaning of the Message (Daniel 4:19-27)
1. Daniel's reaction (verse 19).
1) He was astonished for one hour.
2) His thoughts troubled him.
3) Nebuchadnezzar tells Daniel not to let the dream trouble him.
4) Daniel says that the dream is to them that hate thee and to his enemies.
5) In other words, the dream was against Nebuchadnezzar.
2. Daniel's interpretation (20-27).
1) The tree is king Nebuchadnezzar.
2) It represented his strength and breadth of his kingdom.
3) The stump also represented Nebuchadnezzar.
4) His greatness would be cut off for a period of “seven times.”
5) He would be driven from among men.
6) He would dwell with the beasts of the field.
7) He would eat grass like cows.
8) He would do this until he knew that the most High rules in the kingdoms of men.
9) That the stump wasn't removed meant that Nebuchadnezzar would return to him after he understood that the heavens do rule.
10) Daniel then extends the invitation.
11) He advises Nebuchadnezzar to do the following:
a. Repent of sins.
b. Do righteousness.
c. Show mercy to the poor.
III. A Mistake and A Misfit (Daniel 4:28-33)
1. A Mistake (28-31).
1) Twelve months later, Nebuchadnezzar was walking in the palace.
2) He said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?”
3) A voice then came from heaven saying “The kingdom is departed from you.”
4) He was also told.
a. That he would be driven fro men.
b. That his dwelling would be with the beasts.
c. That he would eat grass.
d. That “seven times” would pass.
e. That this would be done until he knew that the most High rules.
2. A Misfit
1) So Nebuchadnezzar became a misfit.
2) He was driven from amongst men.
3) His understanding was taken away from him.
4) He lived with the beasts of the field.
5) He ate grass.
6) His body became wet with dew.
7) His hair grew as long as eagle feathers.
8) His nails became like birds claws.
IV. A Moral (34-37).
1. Nebuchadnezzar blesses God.
1) The time was fulfilled.
2) His understanding returned to him.
3) At the end of those days, he made a confession.
4) This confession was to the most High.
5) Nebuchadnezzar blessed God.
6) He praised God.
7) He honored God.
8) He confessed that God lived forever.
9) He confessed that God's kingdom was an everlasting kingdom.
10) He confessed that it is from generation to generation.
2. Nebuchadnezzar was restored to his throne.
1) His reason returned to him.
2) His honor and brightness returned to him.
3) This was for the glory and honor of his kingdom.
4) His counselors and lords sought him again.
5) He was established in his kingdom again.
6) He was given excellent majesty.
3. Nebuchadnezzar confesses that God rules.
1) He praised, extolled and honored the King of heaven.
2) He confessed that his works are truth and his ways judgment.
3) He acknowledged that God is able to abase those who walk in pride.
1. God uses the nations of men to care for the people of the earth – 1 Peter 2:13-14 “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”
2. There is no nation or leader of a nation that is so great as beyond God's power to bring it low – Jesus said in John 19:11 “Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.”
3. While the dream was bad news for the king, Daniel didn't refrain from telling it – Ezekiel 3:16-21.
4. Daniel admonished Nebuchadnezzar to repent of his sin.
1) Such courage reminds me of Nathan the prophet when he said to David, “Thou art the man” (2 Samuel 12:7).
2) Or John the baptizer when he said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have her” (Matthew 14:4).
5. In order to avoid the punishment of God, we must repent and do righteousness and mercy (Acts 17:30).
6. God expects leaders of nations to be humble, righteous and merciful – Acts 24:25 “ And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”
7. God punishes the wicked who refuse to bend their will to God's – 2 Peter 2:9 “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.”
8. God is able to make all bend the knee to Him, to abase those who walk in pride – James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5 says that God resists the proud.
9. God's dominion is everlasting and His kingdom from generation to generation (Hebrews 12:28).
10. God is to be glorified as being the King and Ruler of all affairs of men – Revelation 17:14, 1 Timothy 6:15.
11. Pride is destructive (Proverbs 16:18).
12. We must humble ourselves before God (1 Peter 5:6).
1. Let us not forget the pride of king Nebuchadnezzar.
1) The message.
2) The meaning.
3) A mistake and misfit.
4) A moral.
1) Our mistakes turn us into misfits as well.
2) We must correct these mistakes by repenting and turning to God in our life.