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The autobiography of Nebuchadnezzar is compelling reading (cf. Daniel 4). It makes the hair stand on the back of your neck. It would bring tears to a stone as it underscores the lengths to which God is prepared to go to draw someone to himself. It gently reminds us that none are beyond the reach of an awesome God – a God of amazing grace.

The chapter is a personal reflection of God’s dealings with him up to the moment of his dramatic conversion. He tells it like it is. He pulls no punches. He’s honest, frank, and open. He provides us with a before-and-after account of all that transpired between him and God in a spiritual log. As far as I am aware, this is the only testimony of a gentile king recorded in the word of God.

‘Not many noble,’ says Paul elsewhere ... thank God, there are exceptions!

In an official state document outlined in verses 1-3, Nebuchadnezzar plainly and powerfully declares that God has been working in his life. He extols the virtues of a God who engineered the miraculous in order to bring him to an understanding of himself. He applauds the uncanny effect that the wonders of God have had upon him. He’s a changed man. And he knows it. He longs that others may know it too.

He makes four pulsating statements that combine to magnify the transcendence of God: he is the God of the impossible, he is the God who revolutionises, he is the God who always will be, and he is the God who never changes.

According to his playback account in verse 30, Nebuchadnezzar was a man totally wrapped up in himself, immersed in the art of self-admiration. He rants and raves about his accomplishments, achievements, and ambitions. His world revolved around me, myself, and I. Pride comes before a fall. And the higher they are, the harder they fall!

The result and reward of pride is spelled out clearly (cf. 4:31-33) in a sad and solemn case of divine retribution. The timing is important – it was when he was least expecting it that God intervened. He probably thought God had forgotten, or perhaps backed down from carrying out his threat. When he was bragging on earth, God interrupted with a voice from heaven. He gave him a year to repent. And seven more to rethink.

The disease with which he was afflicted caused him to become totally irrational and mentally deranged. In medical-speak, it is known as lycanthropy – a state where a man regards himself to be other than a man. People suffering from this dreadful complaint act like the animal they imagine themselves to be, and make whatever noises characterise it. In other words, if you think you’re a cow, you’ll start to moo.

Inevitably, because of his condition, he was isolated from people. He ate grass like the cattle in the field. He rolled about in the morning dew. He became unkempt as his hair grew and uncouth as his nails were not manicured. He’s a madman!

However, what a finale (cf. 4:34-37). Seven years later! Unbelievable. Unthinkable.

His eyes were opened. When his health is restored and his mind is thinking clearly again, he changes tempo and begins to praise the Most High. He recognised the eternality of God. He respected the rule of God. He realised the nothingness of man. He rejoiced in the grace of God. There is stability in divine truth and ability in God’s throne.

Gone is the arrogance and conceit. He’s a different man, a brand new man. He’s been transformed and changed from the inside out. And it’s all for the better. The message is clear: God is sovereign ... nationally and personally.

If God can crack a nut like Nebuchadnezzar, what can’t he do?

Don’t lose heart. Don’t quit. One day your prayers for your loved ones will be answered. Be honest – did you ever think Nebuchadnezzar would be converted?