My understanding returned to me

Daniel 4:34
And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.

Pride can sometimes harden us so much that we refuse to see or take another path that the Lord has made available to us. We think we are doing the right thing, and we start in the right general direction, but somewhere we get caught up in believing we know better than God and take matters into our own hands. Or, worse yet, we act like King Nebuchadnezzar and in our pride we think we’ve done enough and then glorify ourselves for what we’ve done. But, as Nebuchadnezzar learned, God watches and listens, “And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.” (Daniel 4:37)

In today’s verse, Nebuchadnezzar has had a moment just like the Prodigal Son from the parable in Luke 15:11-32. After having lost his senses and being driven from his throne to wander like a wild thing in the woods and fields, King Nebuchadnezzar came to his senses and raised his eyes to God Most High. In that moment, God had mercy on the wild king and restored to him all that he had lost and even more. Nebuchadnezzar had to lose everything he thought he had in order to realize a very important truth: God reigns.

For all our accomplishments, it is easy to get caught up in our pride and to believe in our own greatness. It is even possible to mistake our own success as some special blessing, when in fact it is just part of the lesson God is trying to teach us about humility. He will allow us to be raised up so that when our pride overtakes us we can see how far we have fallen. The Prodigal Son and King Nebuchadnezzar both had to spend time away from the riches of the Father’s blessings to understand just how much their own pride had taken from them. God not only knows better, He also has dominion over us all. The choice to submit to His dominion, to allow Him to rule our lives and fulfill His righteousness through us, that choice is still ours. If we puff ourselves up in pride, then He will likely let us run with the wild things until we see just how much we need Him. But if we submit, then blessings will follow, just as they have for so many before us.

Lord God Almighty, I join that ancient king in blessing Your name today: “I praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice.” Guide me away from pride today, O Lord, and help me to seek justice and mercy for all. Amen.


About Glenn Pettit

I am a deacon at The Well of Iowa, and a father and grandfather. Called to teach and to preach, I write fresh messages about the Bible every now and then.
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