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Summary: Pride destroys individuals. Pride destroys nations. It’s very dangerous theology when we believe that our God favors us over another individual. It’s very dangerous theology when we believe that our God favors one nation over another nation. Pride alw

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God Humbles the Proud

Daniel Speaks to Us Today Series

By Greg Johnson

October 25, 2006

http://www.LovingGodFellowship.org

Daniel Chapter 4

Jesus gave us the Great Commandment of loving God and loving people (Matthew 22:36-40). Pride is sin because it breaks this commandment and it is self-centered.

Daniel chapter 4 is written by King Nebuchadnezzar. It is his testimony and it is a powerful one of a prideful individual that was humbled by a God that loved him. Prior to the events of chapter 4, we are given a picture of a King that was consumed with pride. He was polytheistic and believed the gods favored him and his empire. He had little concern for his people, the poor and the oppressed, but he thought very highly of himself.

Pride destroys individuals. Pride destroys nations. It’s very dangerous theology when we believe that our God favors us over another individual. It’s very dangerous theology when we believe that our God favors one nation over another nation. Pride always leads to the neglect of people; the poor and the oppressed. This is why God detests pride; He loves people.

THE FRUIT OF PRIDE.

King Nebuchadnezzar describes a dream he has in Daniel 4:4-18. He tells Daniel of the dream and asks for it’s interpretation. (Daniel 4:19-26 NIV) "Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, "Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you." Belteshazzar answered, "My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries! {20} The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, {21} with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the beasts of the field, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds of the air-- {22} you, O king, are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth. {23} "You, O king, saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ’Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live like the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’ {24} "This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: {25} You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. {26} The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules."

Nebuchadnezzar thinks highly of himself and does not recognize nor confess that God rules and not man. Nebuchadnezzar believes that “he” is in control and that “he” has built a great empire. He believes that the gods favor him over others. The One True God is getting ready to humble this individual that is consumed with the sin of pride.

Please notice that the fulfillment of the dream is conditional. (Daniel 4:27 NIV) "Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue." Notice that the fruit of repentance is showing mercy to the oppressed; the poor. Thus, a fruit of pride must be that of ignoring the needs of others.

Beloved, loving others more than ourselves is the fulfillment of the Great Commandment that Jesus gave. We are to love God and love people. The sin of pride wants us to focus our attention on ourselves. It is self-centered. The fruit of repentance is loving others as ourselves. We must inspect our own fruit. It will reveal to us if we are guilty of the sin of pride.

THE CONSEQUENCE OF PRIDE.

Look at what happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel 4:29-33 NIV) "Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, {30} he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?" {31} The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. {32} You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes." {33} Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird."

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