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Summary: In this passage, Nebuchadnezzar gives us two lessons in how to bring Honor to God.

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Honoring God: Daniel 4:28-35

Sermon by CH(CPT) Keith J. Andrews

All scripture marked ESV: The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

This morning I bring to you a story of Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar was the great king of Babylon the great hero of Iraq.

Some say that he was more proud of his construction than he was of his conquests. (wikipedia.org) He created a city comparable to none other. It’s "Hanging Gardens" was one of the seven wonders of the world.

An article on Wikipedia describes his construction efforts this way;

"Nebuchadnezzar, continuing his father’s work of reconstruction, aimed at making his capital one of the world’s wonders. Old temples were restored; new edifices of incredible magnificence were erected to the many gods of the Babylonian pantheon to complete the royal palace begun by Nabopolassar, nothing was spared, neither "cedar-wood, nor bronze, gold, silver, rare and precious stones"; an underground passage and a stone bridge connected the two parts of the city separated by the Euphrates; the city itself was rendered impregnable by the construction of a triple line of walls."

Nebuchadnezzar looked out over all of, this city, his prize possession, and gloated in his majesty and in his power:

Look with me at Daniel 4:28:

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws. (Daniel 4:28-33, ESV)

In Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogance he was driven from the city to live as an animal.

The God of the universe will not be mocked.

We can get so arrogant in our understanding of our kingdom, our own little corner of the universe that we thought was what we built—but after all we were allowed to prosper by the hands of God.

What does it take for us to awaken to the understanding that God deserves honor? Does it take losing everything in order to appreciate the greatness of God?

We see in the next passage that Nebuchadnezzar finally came to his senses.

Daniel 4:34-35;

34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,

and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;

35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,

and she does according to his will among the host of heaven

and among the inhabitants of the earth;

and none can stay his hand

or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34-35, ESV)

So we see that it sometimes takes too much for our arrogant selves to bring honor to his name.

In this passage, Nebuchadnezzar gives us two lessons in how to bring Honor to God.

1. Nebuchadnezzar understood who God was.

Look with me at verse 34:

These are the words of Nebuchadnezzar:

34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,

and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; (Daniel 4:34, ESV)

Now, wouldn’t it be wonderful for one of the American Presidents to make this kind of claim? To look over the greatness of the United States and praise God alone?

We hear lip service from time to time—but we don’t hear the complete realization that God is in it all. To do so, some would say, would be political suicide. I say, it is about time we acknowledge God’s hand on our nation. It is about time we acknowledge his hand on our lives.

Here we see Nebuchadnezzar giving honor to God, after he came to his senses. It is interesting that he says: "my reason returned to me". The text doesn’t say whether or not the reason returned after he was acting like an animal or whether the reason for returning his life to normal was that his reason returned to him.

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