“King Nebuchadnezzar sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: “Peace and prosperity to you! “I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how powerful his wonders! His kingdom will last forever, his rule through all generations.” Daniel 4:1-3
The first three verses of Daniel 4 form a preamble, telling us that the account we are about to read is Nebuchadnezzar’s own. The king’s statement is personal. This isn’t someone else’s story; this is Nebuchadnezzar’s story: “I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.” It’s apparent that Nebuchadnezzar wanted to take this opportunity to explain his mysterious absence from the throne for a period of seven years. This document does the job quite effectively. The king summarizes the attitude of his heart toward God. This is his attitude after the events of chapter 4 have transpired. Logically, these first three verses belong at the end of the chapter. But he announces his heart change up front because he now sees the transitory nature of the kingdom of Babylon in light of the eternal Kingdom of God. He had just lost his kingdom for a period of seven years, but God will never lose His Kingdom. That’s because God’s Kingdom is everlasting. Nebuchadnezzar’s exclamation of the greatness of God and His signs and wonders is quite accurate and in keeping with his experience. The signs wrought in his life were indeed great, and God’s wonders were indeed mighty.
The grand lesson God wants the king to learn and that we must learn today is that God alone is sovereign and will not permit mortals to usurp His throne or take credit for His works. We are but creatures, and God is the Creator; we are only subjects, but He is King of Kings. When men and women refuse to submit themselves to God as creatures made in His image, they are in grave danger of descending to the level of animals. God uses animals when He wanted to describe the great empires of history. The last great dictator is called the beast. Men and women are in the image of God, but when they leave God out of their lives and resist His will, they can descend to the level of animals.