Daniel 4 (6)
In the midst of his suffering, Nebuchadnezzar found the saving mercy of the Lord. His confession of faith is compelling, and particularly when we remember that he wrote this tract and distributed it throughout his vast domain (v. 1). Nebuchadnezzar’s faith continues the line of Old Testament Gentiles to whom God extended His favor, as a token of greater blessings to the Gentiles yet to come.
Meditate on Isaiah 49.1-8.
Read Daniel 4.34-37.
Think it Through
1. Four verbs outline Nebuchadnezzar’s return to health (v. 34 – the last two are a pair). What are they, and why is this order important? How is the grace of God evident in Nebuchadnezzar’s restoration? How can you see in Nebuchadnezzar’s profession of faith (vv. 34, 35) that God’s purpose for his abasement was fulfilled (cf. vv. 25, 32)? Note also that it was only after this profession (“At the same time”, v. 36) that Nebuchadnezzar’s “reason returned” and he was restored to his kingdom (v. 36). How does this further help us to believe that Nebuchadnezzar’s profession was genuine? In what ways does Nebuchadnezzar’s confession resemble Job’s in Job 42.1-6? Does God sometimes use abasement to convert sinners or lead believers to a stronger faith? Explain.
2. How did Nebuchadnezzar describe “the Most High” in these verses? How can you see that he embraced God as his King, and that he finally and truly submitted to His will? Note the three verbs of worship in verse 37. What’s the difference between these? Why is each important in worshipping God? In what ways do you see these three verbs reflected in your own worship, and that of your church? What do we learn about the Kingdom of God from Nebuchadnezzar’s confession (we’ll want to keep this in mind as we look at chapter 7)?
“Had he not raised his eyes toward heaven, he would not have regained his former intelligence. Moreover, when he says that his intelligence returned to him, he shows that he had lost, not his outward appearance, but only his mind.” Jerome (347-420 AD)
“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it isin heaven.” Matthew 6.9, 10
Lord, I praise You because…
I extol you, testifying that…
And I will honor You today by…
Pray Psalm 51.14-19.
As you praise the Lord and confess your sins, plead with Him also for an opportunity today to extol and honor Him by a work of love or a word of witness. Think ahead to the people you will see today, and prepare your heart to praise the Lord before them.
Psalm 51.14-19 (He Leadeth Me)
Deliver us, from guilt, O Lord,
You Who have saved us by Your Word;
And let our tongues Your mercy bless,
And sing of Your great righteousness!
Refrain vv. 15, 18
Lord, open now our lips to raise
To You sweet songs of joyous praise!
Thus let Your favor on us fall,
And build and strengthen Zion’s wall!
No sacrifice, no offering
Would You have us, Your people, bring;
But broken spirits, cleansed of lies,
And pure hearts You will not despise.
Now build Your Church, raise high the wall
Of those who on Your mercy call.
And take our lives and let them be
Sweet sacrifices, Lord, to Thee!
T. M Moore
We encourage you to pray and sing the psalms as part of these Scriptorium studies. Your prayers can be enriched and enhanced by doing so. To learn more about how to pray the psalms, order the book God’s Prayer Program from our online store (click here). To begin singing the psalms using traditional hymn tunes, order The Ailbe Psalter (click here).
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.