Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 4

Outline and Background

The King's Praise - Daniel 4:1-3

The King's Perplexity and Positiveness - Daniel 4:4-9

The King's Problem - Daniel 4:10-18

The King's Punishment - Daniel 4:19-26

The King's Procrastination - Daniel 4:27-29

The King's Pride and Perversion - Daniel 4:30-33

The King's Preservation - Daniel 4:34-37

Application and Typical Prophecies

Application and Typical Prophecies - Daniel 4

Yahweh’s dealings with Nebuchadnezzar offer practical insight on how much God hates pride and insight on its destructive results. When pride results in jealousy and disdainful behavior or treatment of others, it becomes a serious sin, which is condemned repeatedly in the Bible.

Pride was the downfall of the guardian cherub Lucifer, who is Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:13-17). Pride moved Cain to slay his brother Abel. Pride was Nebuchadnezzar’s downfall. Pride will be the downfall of the Antichrist (Proverbs 16:18).

The book of Proverbs offers seven warnings against pride (6:17; 8:13; 11:2; 13:10; 16:5, 18; 29:23). Pride is an abomination to the LORD
because it desecrates His name and His rightful place. It leads to shame, brings about destruction, and ends with judgment.

God works in many ways to break pride. Like Nebuchadnezzar, we tend to ignore His signs. God dropped Daniel and his friends into the king’s lap to confront the monarch and to give him opportunities to turn away from himself to the true and living God.

Finally, the LORD used one of His most effective means—a malady that comes in the forms of infirmity, sickness, disease, debilitation, etc. Some people have to lose their “grip on life” in order for reality and eternity to come into clearer focus. Such was the case with Nebuchadnezzar.

We might say that God went “the second mile” with Nebuchadnezzar, not wanting him to perish but to come to repentance. Yahweh’s dealings with the king are the quintessence of His patience spoken of by the apostle Peter.

He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Nebuchadnezzar typifies a strong-willed person, along with what is often necessary to bring about the conversion of such a heart. Note the sequence in Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion.

A false sense of significance
A false sense of security
A target of God’s mercy and compassion
A warning of coming judgment
An invitation to repent
A drastic event prior to conversion
An attitude and behavior like a beast
A humbling by God
A turning from self to God

If God could bring about a change in Nebuchadnezzar’s heart, no one is beyond repentance and belief. Therefore, as opportunities arise to tell the unsaved world what God has planned for the lost, Christians are to be as bold and courageous as Daniel. Because, for the perishing, their fate will be far worse than Nebuchadnezzar’s seven years of madness if they do not repent and believe in Christ.

If you find it too hard to tell a friend about Christ, write a letter to him or her. In that letter tell your friend how the Lord saved you, and give all the glory to God. That is what Nebuchadnezzar did. The king wanted to teach to all the people of the earth the lesson that God had taught him. Should we not want to do the same?

It is incorrect to view the prophetic writings of Daniel as merely heroic accounts of a man, named Daniel, which have been compiled into a book of twelve disconnected and unrelated chapters. Instead, they are related accounts of God’s progressive revelation concerning those things He wants His people to know.

During the end of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar typifies Christ, the Ruler of the millennial reign. When Daniel told the king to break off sin and practice righteousness, a ruler’s chief virtue, the king acted accordingly. He proceeded to proclaim peace, one of the blessings of righteousness, to all his subjects. The One who brings righteousness and peace came and
will come again to fulfill what the prophet Isaiah predicted.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Nebuchadnezzar typifies Christians also. Like the king, unsaved unbelievers walk in pride and are at enmity with God, who sees them in a state of insanity—unless, and until—they humble themselves, call on the LORD, and have their sanity restored. Both Nebuchadnezzar and
Christians have been rescued from the dominion of darkness ruled by Satan.

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14).

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation (Colossians 1:21-22).

Our alienation from God, and the enmity we had in our minds for Him, have both been vanquished, and replaced with the righteousness that is of, and from, God. Our evil deeds are superseded by good works.

In addition, Nebuchadnezzar foreshadows the Antichrist, who, in his madness and pride, will attempt to build a kingdom by his mighty power, for the glory of his own majesty. At that time, God will deal with the nations as He dealt with Nebuchadnezzar. Either the people of nations
will humble themselves and come under the subjection of His Son, or they will be gone with the wind. As predicted in the dream of dreams, the whole earth will be filled with the everlasting kingdom.

Nebuchadnezzar addressed his edict “to the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in all the world.” The edict points to the time of the Tribulation, when a great multitude that no one can count, coming from every nation, tribe, people and language, are saved (Revelation 7:9).

As with Nebuchadnezzar, God’s judgment on the nations during the Tribulation concludes with the subjugating of the earth to the One who has been given all authority and the right to rule.

As with Nebuchadnezzar, the earth will not be restored until the seven years of the Tribulation (Malady) have passed. Then the saved will be restored to the kingdom of God on earth, which was forfeited by Adam’s self-centeredness.

During this present age, the conversion of Nebuchadnezzar foreshadows the fact that while salvation is being experienced by Gentiles, the Jews are being despised among the nations.

Just as the Gentile king proclaimed the glory of the Most High God to his empire, so it will be primarily the responsibility of Gentiles to proclaim the Gospel of God during the “times of the Gentiles.” In this period, God will preserve a remnant of Jews as foreshadowed by His miraculous deliverance of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace. However, since the Jews have forfeited their position as the light of the world—a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation, it is not their place to ask, “What have You done?

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

Unsealing Revelation

Experiencing Exodus

Book of James

Life and Passion of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

Romans Salvation

Life of the Apostle Paul

Other studies at Spreading Light Bible Studies

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