God-Given Authority

King Nebuchadnezzar enjoyed the kind of power and privilege no single human had ever experienced. He built an empire that eventually swallowed two other great civilizations, Assyria and Egypt. At the time, no one man controlled more of the world than he. According to the man’s written testimony, Nebuchadnezzar became intoxicated by his own wealth and power. His position as the most powerful man on earth gave him a skewed perspective on life and the world.

[Nebuchadnezzar] was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. The king reflected and said, “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?” While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.” Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. (Daniel 4:29–33)

For an extended period of time, the great king suffered a mental condition called lycanthropy, which drove him to behave like a wild animal. No longer walking proudly on the ramparts of his accomplishments, he now shuffled along like a beast. At the end of his ordeal, the king wrote:

At the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason 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 endures from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:34–35)

 

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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