|Vol. 1, No. 4||Page 7||April 1999|
Both biblical history and secular history bear testimony to the fact that King Nebuchadnezzar was a great and powerful ruler of the Babylonian Empire. His fame, riches, power and ability no doubt played a big part to his becoming a very prideful man. His pride is obvious from his own words, as he said, ". . . Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling-place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?" (Daniel 4:30). But of course, many others since the time of King Nebuchadnezzar have demonstrated a prideful spirit. However, as a warning to us, we need to know that "pride" is one of those things that God hates (Proverbs 8:13).
Because of King Nebuchadnezzar's sinful "pride," he was brought down and humbled before the great God of heaven, as God punished him. God, through his prophet Daniel, had this message for King Nebuchadnezzar, ". . . O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." (Daniel 4:31b-32). We then read in the very next verse (v. 33) that this was fulfilled in that "same hour." But of course, being overly proud is something that we all need to guard against, for the Proverb writer recorded, "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).
Another impressive point about King Nebuchadnezzar was his recognition of God. Three times he recognized and extolled the God of heaven (Daniel 2:47; 3:29; 4:34-37). Of interest to us, is that this third time he said, "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase" (Daniel 4:37). Without a doubt, everyone should resist having a proud and haughty spirit, "for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5). So it would be much better for us to "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter 5:6).
The fact of the matter is that all of us should manifest a spirit of humility in our daily lives and also in our recognition of the God of heaven. But we must also humble ourselves before God's Son Jesus, and thus also obey him. But before we can have this humility and be obedient unto the Lord's will, we must do away with "pride." We need to do this or one day God will deal with the problem of our pride even as he dealt with King Nebuchadnezzar's.