I remember a long time ago, my elder brother always kept very long nails, those nails were deadly. There was a time we had a little fight and during the course of the struggle, all he did was pinch my palm with his nails, I tell you my flesh came off immediately; there was a deep scoop of flesh in my palm (my right palm, I think). Then I remember my mum would always call him ‘KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR’ because of his long nails, telling him how animalistic they were and made him look, and would tease him just to go cut those deadly nails. That was how I got to know this king in the Bible, but all I knew was the part where he was turned into an animal, I think the picture I had of him in my head was that of a lion, but anyways, now I am old (I’m not actually old, like an old man, I mean an adult, well whatever) and I now know the true story of this animalistic king called Nebuchadnezzar and it all started from a dream.
Background of the Study – King Nebuchadnezzar
Of course, Nebuchadnezzar was an idol worshipper, being the king of Babylon. He had invaded Judah, captured and destroyed Jerusalem and carried the people along with part of the vessels of the house of God to Babylon, and brought those vessels into the treasure house of his own god (Daniel 1:1-2). He was a very great king, whom God had specifically and strategically placed, so even though he was a chronic idol worshipper, God’s hand was actually upon him.
Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams (Daniel 2:1). Yes, God showed him secrets through dreams and visions, although I am of the school of thought that God revealed these secrets to him through dreams in other for the His glory to be magnified through Daniel, thereby exalting Daniel alongside Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
Dream 1: The Forgotten Dream
This first dream is a very good example of what we talked about at length in the first issue title “Dreams as a Major Feedback Mechanism”. It gives us a practical Biblical example of when we have dreams and cannot remember the events. Daniel 2:1-5 says thus:
“And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.”
Here, we see that Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, but he had forgotten it. Of course, if you can’t even remember the dream, is it the interpretation or the message that you would know? So he was troubled, he wanted to know the dream and the interpretation, but because none of the wise men could deliver, he ordered them all to be killed, including Daniel and his fellows. So Daniel and the three (3) (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) turned to God for His mercies and God answered and revealed the secret unto Daniel, how? In a night vision (Daniel 2:17-19). So God used a dream to reveal a dream. Did you see that?
We would see the revelation and interpretation of the dream by Daniel in Daniel 2:31-47. God had shown the king a revelation of things to come, which did not even necessarily concern him at the said time. If I am not mistaken, He was shown a revelation of the kingdom of God and the reign of Jesus Christ, whose reign is from everlasting to everlasting. You would see a confirmation of this dream in the Revelation 21 and 22.
This dream was not a direct message or warning, but a revelation of things to come, a revelation of the future. God did this that His name might be glorified and that His children, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego may be exalted and celebrated. So, in essence, this dream did not concern the dreamer. As a result, the king got to acknowledge the place of the one true God (Daniel 2:47).
Dream 2: The Animalistic King
Moving on, the king being an idol worshipper made a golden image and ordered that everyone bow and worship that image. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did no such thing and were cast into the fiery furnace of fire. Yet again, the king beheld as a fourth man, whom he acknowledged as being as the son of God, appeared in the fire and they were rescued, while in reverse, the men who threw them in, were devoured by the fire. Again the king acknowledged the place of the one true God and even made a decree against anyone who spoke against Him (Daniel 3).
In Daniel 4:10-17, Nebuchadnezzar then had another dream which made him afraid , and he said:
“Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”
Interesting, isn’t it? Of course, Daniel was always there to interpret for him; this was the interpretation of the dream by Daniel in Daniel 4:20-26, and he said:
“The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him; is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.”
At this point, Nebuchadnezzar knew the dream and he knew what he had to do. All he needed to do was humble himself before the Lord and acknowledge His power and glory, and place as the one true God and ruler of the universe.
As earlier said, all Nebuchadnezzar needed to do was humble himself before the Lord and acknowledge Him, even Daniel was advising him in Daniel 4:27 saying,
“Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.”
Daniel 4:28 tells us that every aspect of that dream came to pass upon Nebuchadnezzar. Apparently, he did not listen, neither did he consider or attend to the dream. Note that it took twelve (12) good months for the dream to come to pass (Daniel 4:29).
Why did such a dream even come to pass in the first place?
The reason has already been stated above; he did not attend to it or even consider it at all. Just imagine, a king that was afraid because of a dream, after being told what it meant, didn’t even give a damn anymore.
Why did it take twelve months to be accomplished?
The dream was touching on pride and it needed pride to be accomplished so that he would be brought low. After twelve months, he was walking in his palace one day and he said, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30). Nebuchadnezzar activated the dream the moment he did this, and while he was still boasting, this is what happened:
“…there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” (Daniel 4:31-32).
Daniel 4:33 then tells us that the same hour, it was fulfilled, it says,
“The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.”
Like me, in the last issue “The Open Book Test”, Nebuchadnezzar had to learn the hard way. In Daniel 4:34-37, we then see Nebuchadnezzar coming to his senses, humbling himself and acknowledging God, from his own mouth, he said, “those that walk in pride, He is able to abase” (Daniel 4:37b). If he had taken the dream seriously and attended to it, he wouldn’t have gone through all that horror and pain that he went through. I mean, turned into an animal? God forbid!
Till next time, cheers and God bless you infinitely!!!
© 2013 Godsplan Uzoaga.