Neb has seen the power of God. He has experienced God’s help in interpreting dreams but he has not yet acknowledged that this God should be his God.
And God is about to bring him to the place of knowing that.
And Daniel knows that the easier why for Neb would be to repent right now – give his life to God. Daniel almost pleads with him to change – v27 Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”
God never judges for the sake of judging – he judges to turn people to him. He judged Israel so that they might turn back to him and he judges Neb in the same way.
The purpose of God’s dealings with Neb was to convince the King that there is NO OTHER WAY TO LIVE LIFE.
The choice before Neb was this – repent, give ALL your life to God, live life for God now, or Get floored by God and then give your life to God.
And God floored this great King by removing everything from him – his power, status, position. To some extent what had happened to Israel and to Daniel happened to Nebuchadezzar – he was stripped of everything!!
THIS IS SO AMAZING BECAUSE IT SHOWS THAT GOD IS JUST AND RIGHTEOUS. HE JUDGES ALL WHO IGNORE HIM, BE IT THE ISRAELITES OR THE KING OF BABYLON, THE CHRISTIAN OR THE ATHIEST.
My question to you this evening is this – Does God need to floor you?
That is a frightening thought. But if we persistently refuse to do what God asks of us and yet we call ourselves believers God will at some point floor us. For Neb it was a full year after Daniel had made his interpretation and challenge.
Neb had reverted back to thinking it was all about him – walking in his garden admiring all that he had made - and God steps in.
God will step in into our lives and floor us if we continue to ignore him.
But the point that God brings Neb too is two fold:
1. Neb realizes exactly who God is and it changes him. This chapter is remarkable coming from the King of Babylon – he says in v34 that he looked to the Most High and he honored and glorified ‘him who lives forever.’ It worked – Neb changed – he recognized God for who he was.
He then goes on to say his dominion is an eternal dominion one and that no one can hold back his hand.
2. That he is not to be the same person – he is to have a different view of authority and power because he knows it comes from God.
Biblical faith is not about letting go of authority or power but about its right use, especially on behalf of the powerless.
Is your life one of serving God and being a servant? Are you one who champions those who are weaker, especially at school – who stand up for truth, who fights injustice. Do you use your position to protect those who are bullied, or those who are ridiculed, or those who are shunned, or those who are friendless.
But, you might say to me, you don’t understand what would happen to me if I do that – people will think I am a dork, or a loser.
SO WHAT. This is not about you – its about God and if you refuse it God will floor you – eventually!
A powerless Daniel, a captive and exile, who has lost everything and whose God is in apparent disgrace stands before the most powerful person on the earth and tells him he is wrong and he needs to repent and that God will cut him down if he does not.
Daniel put his life on the line to do what he must do for God.
No less is the call God has asked of YOU!!