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Summary: Nebuchadnezzar's pride got too big. He received a dream of warning from God. Not repenting, he had the insanity of boanthropy, ate grass, went on all fours. God had mercy and he was converted. A good look at the dangers of pride.

WHEN GOD TURNED A POLITICIAN INTO A COW

Dan. 4:4-37

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: SCRIPTURE-QUOTING SHOP KEEPER

1. The owner of an all-in-one store in a small country town was fond of quoting a scripture after each sale. He had three old friends that would sit around and listen to see what verse he would come up with.

2. EXAMPLES:

a. A lady purchased some material and he said, "She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands."

b. A man bought a loaf of bread and he said, "Man does not live by bread alone, but every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

c. A little boy bought some candy and as he rung it up, he quoted, "Suffer the little children to come unto me."

3. One day a well-dressed man entered. "I need a blanket for my horse," said the man. "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."

4. "Five dollars? You've got to be kidding!" said the man. "This horse is a thoroughbred. He gets only the best!" Without comment, the store owner took back the blanket, then merely selected a different color of the $5 blankets. "This one's $25 dollars."

5. "Now, look," said the young man, "Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. This isn't just any old horse! He's worth thousands! I want the most expensive blanket you've got! Understand?" The owner went into the store room, pulled out a different color of the same $5 blanket and brought it back. "This is the best I’ve got. It's $100." "Now that's more like it!" He took it and left.

6. The old timers waited to see what possible scripture he could come up with for that sale! As he rang up the register, he said, "He was a stranger, and I took him in."

B. TEXT

4 “I, Nebuchadnezzar….5 had a dream that made me afraid. I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. 13 A holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven…. 14 called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree…15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him.’ [Daniel answered], “22 Your Majesty, you are that tree! 27 Therefore, Your Majesty, 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.” 29 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…by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.” 33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. 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. 34 “At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. 36 At the same time…I was restored to my throne…. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”

C. THESIS

1. We’re looking at a man who thought too much of himself. He ascribed to himself the attributes that are really reserved only for God!

2. The title of this message is, “When God Turned a Politician into a Cow.”

I. CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DREAM

A. THE MOST POWERFUL KING OF HIS TIME

1. Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful king of his time, with an empire extending over 1,200 miles, including Egypt, all of Palestine, Syria, half of Saudi Arabia, half of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Georgia, Armenia, part of Russia, etc. Daniel the Prophet said God had given him rulership of the nations.

2. His capital was Babylon. It’s walls were 350 feet high (high as a 35 story building), 87 feet thick, and had no less than 250 watchtowers positioned on them! It was surrounded with a moat and had a second inner wall. The city was impregnable.

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