From the 40 Days of Daily Bread Series.
You have probably heard the story of Daniel, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace many times. But have you ever noticed the pride ingrained in the life of King Nebuchadnezzar? (I’m going to call him “Nebi” for short.) He definitely had the first kind of pride that we talked about yesterday. I’m going to give you the break down. The whole intriguing story is laid out in Daniel 1–4; read it here.
Nebi was so proud that he would only have those who were good-looking and had great ability in them to stand in the king’s palace. No riffraff. (Daniel 1:3-4).
THE TREE GROWS
Nebi’s pride brought him to a place where he controlled and threatened. As we can see from Daniel 2:5-6, the results of those who supplied the king’s demand versus those who didn’t were polar opposites.
Daniel prefaced the revelation of Nebi’s dream by pointing out that God wanted to show him what was in his heart. (2:30) Nebi hears he’s at the top (2:38), and then butters up to Daniel (2:46) and promotes him (2:48).
PEOPLE WERE AFFECTED
Everyone had to bow down to the gold image Nebi set up because in his heart he was the image. (Daniel 3:1-7)
Notice the pattern of bad fruit coming from the roots of pride in his life:
- Angry and very furious – 2:12
- Murder – 2:13
- Controls and threatens – 3:6
- Rage and fury – 3:13
- Full of fury – 3:19
- Murder – 3:19-23
Out of the furnace comes Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Nebi blesses God, yet no repentance. He has another dream…
Nebi hears he’s great again (Daniel 4:22), but not above God (4:25). Daniel warns Nebi about his sin (4:27), but he still doesn’t repent. A year passes and while he was praising himself aloud God immediately humbles him (4:29-32).
In one hour he goes from a pompous king to this:
…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. (Daniel 4:33 ESV)
While he was there for “seven times” (4:32), he finally lets God deliver him.
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 4:37 ESV)
- Ask God to reveal any pride in your heart and deliver you. Write what you gleaned from King Nebuchadnezzar’s life and the following verse in your journal:
Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. Proverbs 21:4 ESV
Would you say that pride is a serious thing?