All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws. Daniel 4:28-33 ESV
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:1-6 ESV
Once there was a poor fisherman who caught a fish one day, and to his surprise found out that the fish could talk. The fish said that he was a magic fish, and that if the fisherman would let him go, he would grant him any wish. The fisherman let the fish go without wishing for anything, but when his wife found out about this, she was very angry. She didn’t like living in their poor shack, and wanted a cottage instead. The fisherman went to the seashore and called the fish and told him his wife’s wish, and the fish gave them a cottage. But the fisherman’s wife wasn’t happy with that. She wanted a mansion, and when the fish gave her that, she wanted a palace, and then she wanted to be the queen, and then the empress, and then the pope. The fish granted her all of these wishes, one after the other. But the fisherman’s wife still wasn’t happy. She saw the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening, and knew that she wasn’t in control of that. So she had one more wish–to be God. But this was too much to wish for, and when the fisherman told the fish this wish, he went back to find that he and his wife were back in their poor little shack.
This is only a story, but it’s a little bit like what Nebuchadnezzar did. God had given him more and more power and glory in his kingdom, and a beautiful palace to live in, and an empire that extended over much of the known world. But Nebuchadnezzar was very proud. He thought that he had done everything by himself, and that there could be no end to his own power and glory. Nebuchadnezzar had made himself into a god, and he didn’t feel as if he needed the true God’s help and blessing. The Lord wouldn’t let that kind of pride and arrogance stand, so he judged Nebuchadnezzar by making him ill in his mind. The mighty king started thinking and acting like an animal, and he was driven from his palace and went out to the fields to live. He ate grass and got wet with the morning dew after sleeping in the field each night, and his hair grew long and shaggy and his fingernails and toenails got longer and longer so that they were like claws. The Lord was teaching Nebuchadnezzar to be more humble and to give glory to the true God.
We are all like Nebuchadnezzar sometimes. Our first parents sinned in the Garden of Eden because they wanted to be like God. They wanted to be in control of their own lives and do things their own way, instead of obeying God and following his ways. Just as Nebuchadnezzar was driven out of his palace, Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden. When we sin, we are also saying that we want to be God. We don’t want to give the Lord glory, and we don’t want to obey him, but instead we want to go our own way and do our own thing. God’s judgment falls on the sin of pride, but the Lord provided an escape for us when he sent Jesus to be our Savior and to die for us on the cross. Because of Jesus, God forgives us all our sins of pride and disobedience, and he sends us his Holy Spirit to help us give glory to our Lord and follow his ways. We will live with him in his heavenly kingdom, a kingdom more glorious than any human person can build, and a kingdom that will last forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, please teach us to be humble and to give you all the glory. Thank you for forgiving our sins through Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.