Summary: Preaching the truth is a must in spite of the message or consequences. Daniel interprets the truth to Nebuchadnezzar.
A Dream Gone Bad
The King’s Tribute 4:1-3
Nebuchadnezzar delivers a preamble of praise in verses one through three. Quite possibly, he has Daniel pen these words because of his personal experience of God working in his life. The Holy Spirit chose to include the words of this despot whose life becomes radically changed.
The King’s Terror 4:4-18
The dreams of Nebuchadnezzar went from bad to worse. The first dream troubled him but this dream terrorized him. Again he turns to the wise-guys in the royal court. They couldn’t help him so he calls for Daniel. Isn’t that just like us? We turn to God only after we have exhausted our own personal solutions. He tells Daniel the dream and describes it in great detail.
Daniel’s Trepidation 4:19-27
Verse 19 describes Daniel’s reaction to the dream. The word astonished means appalled or greatly perplexed. His thoughts troubled or alarmed him for a short time. The reason was because of the message he was about to declare. Daniel had grown fond of this royal pagan. He knew what lay ahead for the king. He wished it were the king’s enemies who were to suffer what was to transpire. Daniel faithfully pronounced the coming judgment upon Nebuchadnezzar. He was given an opportunity to repent and respond to God’s warning.
The King’s Trial 4:28-33
Twelve months had passed since Daniel’s interpretation. His eyes viewed all he had accomplished and he boasted before man and God concerning his greatness. God’s warning went unheeded and He brought judgment upon the great Nebuchadnezzar. His bi-polar personality took a sudden downward turn. Many scholars believed he suffered a mental illness called lycanthropy. Lycanthropy is a condition where a person believes he or she is, or has transformed into, an animal and behaves accordingly. God foretold the event and brought it to pass.
The King’s Testimony 4:34-37
After all that has transpired, Nebuchadnezzar was restored to his kingdom as promised. Nebuchadnezzar learned about God’s grace and sovereignty and gave praise to Him. Man has been given the responsibility to respond to the warnings God has provided and to honor Him as the sovereign God.