“For seven periods of time, let him have the mind of a wild animal instead of the mind of a human. For this has been decreed by the messengers; it is commanded by the holy ones, so that everyone may know that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world. He gives them to anyone he chooses— even to the lowliest of people.” “Belteshazzar that was the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now tell me what it means, for none of the wise men of my kingdom can do so. But you can tell me because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.” Daniel 4:16-18
Nebuchadnezzar is to have the heart of a beast, which means he will have no recognition of spiritual things. The period of time when he will have the heart of a beast will be seven years. This is God’s judgment, but this judgment is tempered with mercy. Nebuchadnezzar was on a collision course with God, but the Lord would be faithful to him.
The dream being from the Lord, only Daniel could interpret it. This means that the wisest of the wise men of Babylon didn’t have a clue as to what it meant. The messenger then concluded his decree and stated its purpose: that all people would recognize the true God “the Most High” and acknowledge Him as the true ruler of mankind who has the power to place “the lowliest of men” over earthly kingdoms. This statement was a direct confrontation of Nebuchadnezzar’s pride in his own attainments and power. Nebuchadnezzar finished relating his dream and then appealed to Daniel to interpret it. The wise men of Babylon were not able to do this, but the king again expressed his confidence in Daniel. The stage was now set for Daniel’s interpretation. That God can set the lowly in positions of power is a common truth of Scripture. “The Lord makes some poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others up. He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the Lord’s, and he has set the world in order.” (1 Samuel 2:7-8)