King Nebuchadnezzar was a first hand witness to one of the most astonishing, amazing and dynamic miracles ever performed:
- Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here. ” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I (King Nebuchadnezzar) make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.” (Daniel 3:24-29 NKJV)
This is how Matthew Henry sums up the above passages: “The miracle brought deep convictions on Nebuchadnezzar. But no abiding change then took place in his conduct.” So the Lord took the greatest king on earth and lowered his existence to that of an animal for seven years. Read the account:
- This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you (King Nebuchadnezzar) know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. “And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.” All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?” At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down. (Daniel 4:24-28, 34-37 NKJV)
Read what Matthew Henry says after king Nebuchadezzar’s humbling experience when he encountered the real King of kings: “There can be no reasonable doubt that Nebuchadnezzar was a true penitent, and an accepted believer. It is thought that he did not live more than a year after his restoration.”
Let’s truly dissect what happened. King Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful king on earth, saw the pre-incarnate Christ, his Creator as the fourth person in the furnace. He experienced a deep conviction about the Most High God, but there was no abiding change. Not until he was brought so low and looked up, did he truly become second and honor the King of heaven.
Maybe you are like Nebuchadnezzar. Maybe you have deep convictions and bless the Lord of heaven and earth. But you never yielded and became second to Him. Now is the time before it is too late!