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December 2014 Issue

The Same Lord is the Lord of All


  • Yesterday

    Naaman: Simple Obedience
  • Today

    Nebuchadnezzar: Power and Pride Humbled
  • Tomorrow

    Cyrus: The Decree of the King
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Devotion for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Nebuchadnezzar: Power and Pride Humbled

Read Daniel 4

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I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. Daniel 4:34

The Moody Bible Commentary describes Babylon as “the most glorious city of the ancient world . . . Nebuchadnezzar was a great builder and expanded the city . . . He also beautified it with magnificent buildings, temples, and palaces . . . On the northwest corner of the king’s primary palace sat one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon. . . Perhaps it was on the roof of the Hanging Gardens with a view of his glorious city that Nebuchadnezzar became filled with pride.”

God had warned Nebuchadnezzar in a dream that his pride would be humbled. He even specifically warned him that he would have the “mind of an animal” (v. 16). Through God’s judgment, the prideful king, pictured as an enormous tree, would be chopped down and learn the hard way about God’s greatness (vv. 17, 25). Daniel interpreted the dream and advised Nebuchadnezzar to “renounce your sins” and seek God’s mercy (v. 27). The king may have responded in the short term, but a year later he arrogantly asserted his own glory and brought judgment upon himself (vv. 29–32). For seven years, he suffered mental illness, apparently “boanthropy,” before he learned his lesson and was restored to the throne. 

Today’s reading is a letter from Nebuchadnezzar narrating these events, and he intended it to be read throughout his empire. It’s essentially a public confession, no doubt influenced by Daniel. Praise for God opens and closes the letter, emphasizing His impressive attributes of eternality, sovereignty, and omnipotence (vv. 2–3, 34–35). The Old Testament repeatedly emphasizes God’s sovereignty over all nations, as we’ve seen throughout our study this month. As Nebuchadnezzar’s case shows, not even the ruler of an empire can oppose the King of kings (vv. 37–38)!

Apply the Word

The Moody Bible Commentary is a recently published resource that will prove helpful to you in your personal Bible study. With input from thirty professors from Moody Bible Institute, this commentary offers background and exegesis from Genesis to Revelation. Learn more and download Romans for free at

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Joe Gozales, Nok Prukpitikul, and Cherie Carson in Student Programs minister to our students with various on- and off-campus events. Would you pray for creativity for the team, as well as good teamwork for the staff and the students?

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