In preparing a sermon on pride I dove into Daniel chapter four . This chapter relates God’s humbling of Nebuchadnezzar. God had warned him through a dream to humble himself and relent from his prideful approach to life. What does Nebuchadnezzar do? He goes to the roof of his palace, surveys his kingdom and declares, “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty.” (Daniel 4:29 NASB). Not exactly what God had in mind.
So God unleashed the warning he had given Nebuchadnezzar. The king goes mad. He moves out of the palace and takes up residence “with the beasts of the field” (4:32). His hair grows shaggy, his nails look like claws, he eats dinner with the cows and probably smells like a dead one. To say the least God brought Him down from the roof into the pasture.
Why? So that the most powerful human king of the time would give the King of Kings the glory He deserves. After this time of humbling Nebuchadnezzar was given his wits back. Now with his mind being cleansed from all the pride that had infected it he looks, not over the great Babylon, but into heaven and says, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways are just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” (4:37).
Have you experienced God humbling you in this way? You probably have not rolled in the pasture and eaten grass, but has God removed from your life the things that kept you from exclusively giving Him glory? Maybe your source of pride is your work, but things have not been going all that great lately down at the office. Or maybe you have taken a bit too much credit for your financial stability, trusting it instead of God, only to be shaken by the recent economic downslide.
This might seem a bit egotistical on God’s behalf. Who is He to take stuff away from hard-working people in order to receive glory? This would be a fair assessment if we forget that (1) He is God and (2) He does everything out of love for His children and His knowledge of their deepest needs. God’s removal of the stuff that stands between us and Him is an act of love and benevolence. It allows us to move from the roof top to the pasture. To move from operating in self-reliance to operating in divine dependence. When we operate in divine dependence we are able to humbly receive the blessings God, out of His all-knowing mind, sees that we need.
I am being humbled as of late, and it hurts, but I know this is for the best. It moves me from making my own decisions to seeking God’s all-knowing guidance. I have found that I move from messing a lot of things up to trusting the one who directs my life into His perfect will.