TEACHER:  Ken Hicks

SCRIPTURES: Daniel 4:1-37

BOTTOM LINE:   God is Sovereign … and We are Not!  Those who walk in Pride, He is able to Humble.

QUESTION:  Is God Carving Away Your Flesh in this Season?

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Here in chapter 4, Nebuchadnezzar has yet to enter into a personal journey w/ God.  He had yet to truly understand that God was the ONLY true God, and that God was in control of EVERYTHING.

In fact, it appears that in many ways, Nebuchadnezzar almost thought of himself as a God of sorts.  We find God here in chapter 4 dialing in to carve away some Flesh again.

ONE:  The Dream Described (vs. 9-18)

There’s 2 distinct parts of the Dream here …

  1. The King saw this vast tree … w/ leaves & branches stretching as far as the eye could see. Birds nested in the branches … and animals found under its leaves.
  2. The tree was cut down and stripped and the sump bound w/ iron and bronze. Then somehow the stump became a person who lived among animals for 7 years … and evidently this person had lost his mind completely. 

 

TWO:  The Dream Explained  (vs. 19-25)

When Daniel heard the King’s dream … he knew exactly what it meant.  Daniel was truly fearful of telling the King the truth.   He’d seen the King respond when someone told him something he didn’t like.

 

THREE:  The Dream Fulfilled  (vs. 28-37)

The Dream is fulfilled by God!

As if there was any doubt … what God said … happened!   For 12 months, the King had time to change his ways, and evidently, NOTHING that Daniel said was significant enough for any change.

  • Maybe he didn’t believe Daniel?
  • Maybe he thought he still had plenty of time to repent?
  • Maybe he was just making excuses for his behavior?

 

Who knows?  But God honored His end.

 

APPLICATION:

My guess is that if you asked the King about his greatest moment in his life prior to this experience, it would have been a great military victory or some massive construction project.

But after this, he would look back and say it was that moment he came to faith in God and began to give God all the Glory.  The 7 years would simply be a small price to pay in order to see God clearly!

  1. God’s Righteousness Causes Him to intervene When We Believe We Don’t Need Him Anymore.
  2. God’s Judgment is Painful Because He is Cutting away the Sin that Pulls Us Away From Him.
  3. God’s Discipline Lasts Until we Experience God’s Truth and Presence in the Moment.
  4. God’s Purpose in Humbling Us is Not to Destroy Us, but to Draw Us Back into Fellowship with Him.

 

You guys … this is the good news here from Daniel 4 … there’s really 3 sections to this story of Nebuchadnezzar’s life right?

  1. Prosperity
  2. Judgment
  3. Restoration

It’s tempting to focus on the Judgment,  especially given the unusual nature of the 7-year affliction.  However, that misses the point in my opinion.

By the end of the chapter, the King had regained his sanity … regained his throne … and even increased his earthly glory.  Along the way, he discovered God is Sovereign over the affairs of Man, and that those who walk in Pride He is able to Humble.

He ends up BETTER in EVERY WAY than when he started … Spiritually… Earthly … you name it.

I think this is where we can find comfort.  We may be going through a difficult season, and it might be of our own doing … BUT … God’s purpose isn’t to destroy us!   Yes, He might be operating on our life and cutting out some Flesh that is standing between us and Him, but the end desire is that we might have more of His Presence in us remaining and less of us.

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