Thursday, August 27, 2020

Daniel 4 (Pt 3)

Daniel 4:37 (ESV)

[37] Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.


Of all the people in the world, who would have expected Nebuchadnezzar to say the words in the verse above? Not only was he a pagan king, not only was he the king who built an image that he required everyone to worship, not only was he the one who ransacked Jerusalem and worked to convert young Jewish boys to his own culture and religion, but he had been clearly and specifically warned by God, and he hadn’t listened.


Nebuchadnezzar saw the power of God in Daniel 3. He was deeply shaken by a dream in chapter 4 that Daniel interpreted. The dream indicated that Nebuchadnezzar would lose his mind for seven years. Daniel specifically warned him, “Break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity” (Dan 4:27). Still, King Nebuchadnezzar continued in pride and arrogance, not submitting to Daniel’s counsel.


I wonder how many people we have written off concerning the Faith. How many people have we pre-judged, assuming that they would never come to faith? How many times have we shared the gospel with someone only to have them reject it and we give up on them? I remember an old pastor challenging me as a young pastor. He had asked about a common acquaintance and I responded that I thought his family had given up on him. He pointed his finger at me and said, “Never give up!”


Only God knows a person’s heart. Only God knows what it will take to bring a person to their knees in faith. Only God can change hearts. Who would have thought that Nebuchadnezzar would have uttered the words of verse 37? Who would have thought that the alcoholic man who walked out of the room when he found out I was a pastor would one day sit in my church office surrounded by the elders of the church and say, “All I know is that God loves me and I love him.” Who would have thought it? But it happened!


Never give up! Don’t hound people. Don’t stalk them with the gospel. But never give up. Keep praying for them. Keep watching for God at work in their life. Keep connected. Love them no matter what, and you just might see God bring them to their knees as he did Nebuchadnezzar. Never give up!

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