Summary: This great king, the greatest and most powerful of all time, gives the most amazing testimony ever given. In it we see the incredible grace of God at work in the life of the most undeserving of people.
Passage: Daniel 4:1-37
Intro: When I was a kid growing up in the church, “testimonies” were a regular part of the activities.
1. it was a story of how God had worked or was working in a person’s life, and it had three parts.
2. first part involved what a person’s life was like without God
Il) in the 60’s, this part made us “grew up born again” kids feel deprived. Nobody going to make a movie about our life!
3. 2nd part was “What God Did for me and in me”’ Usually dramatic.
4. last part, was “What my life is like now that God is part of it.”
5. the passage we are looking at is a first person testimony, as if Nebuchadnezzar was standing here in front of us. Super Bowl of Testimonies.
6. closest thing in the Bible is conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus.
7. it is an amazing recital of God working not to save a person from the dangers of prosperity and power!!
8. we are also going to see how incredibly relevant this passage is to our world, even 2607 years later, (give or take)
9. let’s listen to the greatest king in history tell his story. He wants us to hear it! Vv1-3
I. “What My Life Was Like Without God”
1. v4 a picture of domestic tranquility.
2. two statements: “My palace, contented and prosperous”
Il) take the picture of a man sitting at home in front of the tube with a beverage and multiply it by 1 million!
3. “my palace” Here is a part.
PP hanging gardens photo
4. but Nebuchadnezzars palace was big part of the whole city of Babylon
5. city a square, 14 miles per side.
6. surrounding wall 56 miles long, 300 feet high, 25 feet thick. Also extended 35 feet below the ground.
7. moat surrounded entire circumference
8. 8 gates led into inner city plus 100 brass gates.
9. golden image of Baal of solid gold, weighed 50,000 lbs.
10. palace considered most magnificent building ever erected on earth. 600 rms
11. so he sat in the middle of this and was content. No surprise to us
12. I wonder if that is why God chose him for special treatment, a powerful example (v1)
13. he had it all, but he had nothing. Just didn’t know it.
PP Mark 8:36-37
14. Nebuchadnezzar was living in a fools paradise, and God could have left him right there.
15. he was enjoying a fabulous life full of the common grace of God, the blessings of God. But he didn’t acknowledge the source.
16. but God refused to leave him there.
II. “What God Graciously Did to Me”
1. what we are seeing is a microcosm of how God works. It is all around us!
2. don’t miss the process, because He is still working this way.
3. this is the bulk of the chapter. Let’s break it down.
PP He warns Nebuchadnezzar powerfully
4. who could get to Nebuchadnezzar behind his walls and moat and towers and gates and contentment?
4. God did, in a troubling dream. V5
5. sent for his counselors, and even though the dream was quite clear as Nebuchadnezzar related it, they could not interpret, (or perhaps would not)
PP He uses His servant to make everything crystal clear.
6. if Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by the dream, how about the interpretation?
7. look what God does!
PP) through Daniel, God tells Neb exactly what would happen, why it would happen, how long it would take, and what the end would be like.
PP And then God told him how he might avoid it! Vv26-27
8. the only thing he did not tell him was when it would happen!!!
9. does any of this sound familiar?
10. another “dream” or “vision” that gives people heartburn, that some refuse to believe because they don’t (or won’t) get it?
11. a prophecy that begins with the removal of common grace, “the things we are content with”?
12. things change dramatically, and then intensify in time for repentance and reconciliation to God? And the time of trouble last for 7 years?
13. this is exactly the way God works in the giving of book of Daniel and the words of Jesus and testimony of Jesus in Revelation.
14. the warnings we have received has been around for thousands of years, because God requires that length of time to satisfy His requirements of Himself.
PP 15. He stood and praised himself instead of God, or even his gods, vv28- 30, and his trial began
PP 16. so all this calamity fell on Nebuchadnezzar after one year (perhaps of good behavior), and he lived in the woods like an animal for seven years. (just like God said)