Summary: Daniel Bible Study - How does your pride affect your walk with the Lord?

A. Chapter 4 Outline

I. The Dream (4:1-18)

a. The King’s Introduction (4:1-5)

b. The Councillors Ignorance (4:6-7)

c. The Prophet’s Insight (4:8-9)

d. The Dream Illustrated (4:10-18)

II. The Interpretation (4:19-27)

a. Daniel’s Thoughts (4:19)

b. Nebuchadnezzar’s Tree (4:20-26)

c. Possible Tranquillity (4:27)

III. The Fulfilment (4:28-36)

a. The Pride (4:28-30)

b. The Proclamation (4:31-32)

c. The Punishment (4:33)

d. The Praise (4:34-37)


II. The Interpretation (4:19-27)

a. Daniel’s Thoughts (4:19)

Daniel recognises the seriousness of the king’s vision and his concern is evident. He was “Astonied”, this means stunned, awestruck, appalled. The reason for this reaction was that Daniel saw what lay ahead of the successful monarch

Maybe Daniel was afraid of the king’s temper and his possible reaction to the interpretation of the dream. It could be that Daniel even felt sorry for Nebuchadnezzar, he had been a chief advisor to the king for some forty years and had formed a good relationship with him and had tried witnessing to him, it could be that Daniel was hesitating because of the sad news he was about to tell.

I wonder if Daniel had to be alone to collect his thoughts for that hour or if he stayed in the king’s presence? What would have gone through the king’s mind? Maybe his thoughts went back to the last dream he had and how Daniel had stood before him with the interpretation,

The king knows that Daniel is a man of God and that he will not mince his words, so, he tells him to just tell him what the dream means. Nebuchadnezzar knows that it must be significant and that it has something to do with him

b. Nebuchadnezzar’s Tree (4:20-26)

Verses 20-22

So far so good! Nebuchadnezzar had built an empire that spanned the world of his day. Other empires would be grander than his, having more territory and lasting longer, but in some ways his empire was greater than those others, after all Daniel had told him in Chapter 2 that his kingdom was the head of Gold.

Trees are often used in Scripture as a symbol of political authority, such as kings, nations and empires (Ezekial 17; Hosea 14; Zecheriah 11)

God had given Nebuchadnezzar the potential of actually ruling over the whole world, with his reign the “Time of the Gentiles” had began, in his previous dream his empire had headed the others. Now at the zenith of his influence and power, he was the great tree that overshadowed the earth.

Verses 23-24

Here Daniel reminds the king that he is dealing with God. The “watchers” were merely God’s ministers. The decree that Daniel was about to give to the king, did not come from Daniel, nor from these angelic beings, but from God Himself.

Verse 25

The king would be struck down with madness. He would leave his throne and he would be driven away from men. He would imagine himself to be an ox and his insanity would last for 7 years – until he comes to his senses and he realises that all of his empire was not his, it was not a result of his military might nor his skill, but it was all God’s doing.

Verse 26

The cutting down of the tree symbolised Nebuchadnezzar’s disgrace and removal from the throne, but the fact that the stump remains was a promise that he would one day reign again. The banding of the stump (Verse 23) may suggest that he was marked by God and protected by Him until His purpose for him was fulfilled. For 7 times (years) the king would live like a beast, eating grass and feeling the forces of nature upon his body.

The lesson that God wanted the king to learn, and one that we have to learn today, is that God alone is sovereign and He will not allow us to take credit for His work.

We are creatures and God is our Creator.

We are subjects and God is our King of kings

We are servants and God is our Master

When men and women refuse to submit themselves to God as creatures made in His image , then they are in danger of descending to the level of animals. If evolution were true, it is possible that we are going the other way. What I mean is that we did not evolve from monkeys, but we see society acting like monkeys. The world has turned its back on God and as a result we see people acting like animals.

Where will it all end? Well that last great world dictator is called “The beast” Revelation 13:1-2 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. [2] And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

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