Daniel 4 (7)
Brought low because of hubris and injustice, Nebuchadnezzar received grace and restoration. In telling his story, he declared the power, justice, goodness, mercy, salvation, and Kingship of God. Unlike his former attempts to mandate religious practice, this tract (Daniel 4) celebrates the greatness of God and announces Nebuchadnezzar’s commitment to Him. No threats or demands on his people, only testimony, worship, and witness. He is God’s herald, a royal herald, just as God intends us to be His royal heralds as well.
Read Deuteronomy 4.1-10.
Read and Meditate on Daniel 4.
Think it Through
1. Nebuchadnezzar has been on a journey toward faith. Review what we’ve observed about this journey from 2 Kings 25 through Daniel 4. What steps of progress can you discern? What was Daniel’s role in this? How would you describe Daniel’s witness to Nebuchadnezzar? What was the final result of Daniel’s faithful, patient, lived witness? How should this encourage us in our Personal Mission Field? What is one thing you can begin to do today that will bring your witness for the Lord more into line with Daniel’s?
2. Previously, when Nebuchadnezzar wanted to affect the religious lives of the people in his empire, he built an impressive edifice, organized a classy band, assembled a lot of dignitaries and other beautiful people, and commanded the world to come to him to worship. How is what he did in chapter 4 different from what he tried to do in chapter 3? We might call chapter 3 a “come/see” effort, while chapter 4 is more of a “go/tell” effort. Which of these is more like what Jesus commands of His churches, which He has appointed as heralds of His Kingdom? Which is more like what your church does? What warning is there for us and our churches in the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s journey to faith?
“He says, ‘There is no one who will oppose his hand or say to him, “Why did you do that?”’ to bring out the invincibility of God’s power. One must accept gladly what is done by him, whether it is pleasing or distressing: resisting or criticizing what is wisely ordained by him is a rash endeavor.” Theodoret of Cyr (393-466 AD)
But you area chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but arenow the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2.9, 10
Lord, You have appointed me as a royal herald, to proclaim the praises of Jesus to one and all. Today I will…
Pray through Psalm 51. Let the Lord search you thoroughly. Be open to His convicting and His leading, and, like David, commit yourself to some specific corrective action where needed.
Psalm 51.1-13 (Passion Chorale: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded)
Be gracious to me, Savior, according to Your love!
According to Your mercy, my sins, my sins remove!
O wash me, precious Savior, and cleanse me from all sin;
Look on me with Your favor, and cause my grief to end.
Against You only, Savior, have I become unclean;
Thus just the condemnation which You pronounce on me.
Lord, I was born to sinning, while You seek truth within;
To wisdom my heart winning, release me from my sin!
In Jesus’ blood and mercy, Lord, cleanse my evil heart!
Let me washed, cleansed, renewed be and pure in whole and part.
Bring joy again and gladness; look not upon my sin.
Deliver me from sadness; renew me yet again!
Create in me a clean heart, renew me from within!
Take not Your Spirit from me because of all my sin.
Salvation’s joy restore, Lord, and keep me in Your hand;
Thus shall I tell Your strong Word to sinners in the land.
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
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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).