Summary: Nebuchadnezzar was blessed by God but thought too highly of himself. His temporary insanity that woke him up to the reality of God. He went on to honor God. Our culture has a "Contemporary Insanity" that rejects God and pushes him away. We must wake up!
1. Pride The owner of an old-fashioned corner grocery store in a small country town was fond of quoting a scripture after each sale. He had three old friends that would sit around a pot-bellied stove, playing checkers on a faded board. His ability to produce a scripture for all occasions never ceased to amuse the old timers, and they would listen to see what verse he would come up with that was relevant to the sale made.
• A lady purchased some material and he said, "She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands."
• A man bought a sack of flour and he said, "Man does not live by bread alone, but every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
• A little boy bought some candy and as he rung it up he quoted, "Suffer the little children to come unto me."
It was nearly closing time when the chimes over the door jangled loudly. A well-dressed young man, obviously a stranger from one of the larger towns down the road, entered. "Can I help you?" offered the proprietor. "I need a blanket for my horse," said the man. "He's out in his trailer and it's too cold for just one. Bring me the nicest one you've got!" The store owner went in the back store room and came back with a brown blanket. "That'll be five dollars."
"Five dollars? You've got to be kidding!" said the man. "This horse is a thoroughbred. He gets only the best! He wouldn't stand still for an old five-dollar blanket." Without comment, the store owner took back the blanket, then merely selected a different color and brought it out. "This one's $25 dollars."
"Now, look," said the young man, "Perhaps I didn't make myself plain. This isn't just any old horse! He's worth thousands! Now I want the best, most expensive blanket you've got! Understand?" The owner once more went into the store room, pulled out another color of the same material and brought it back. "This is the only one left, and it's $100." "Now that's more like it!" said the proud fellow as he paid. Throwing the five dollar blanket over his shoulder, he left.
The old timers stared silently at the shopkeeper as they waited to see what possible scripture he could come up with for that sale! Going behind the register, he rung up the hundred dollars and said, "He was a stranger, and I took him in."
This wasn’t what Jesus meant, but Pride certainly goes before destruction (Proverbs 16.18).
2. Have you noticed the Pride issues in the culture today? Pride in America; Gay Pride; Pride about our favorite sports teams; Political pride issues; Pride is the root of many other sins – we will handle it on our own, without God and are led to other sins.
3. Daniel 4 – God dealt with Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride
• A Dream and Daniel’s Interpretation – 4.4-27
o The Tree was Nebuchadnezzar
o To be cut down – opportunity to return [We had a Crape Myrtle planted in our yard last year; insects killed it; we thought we would have to cut it down but the roots have produced new growth – God demonstrated Grace to Nebuchadnezzar
• When He realized the authority of Heaven he was restored