2007-01-22 - Daniel
Chapter 4 - Verses 19-27: Daniel's initial reaction was fear, knowing what the dream meant. He was afraid of the king's reaction, or was concerned with the king's future suffering. Nebuchadnezzar reassures Daniel that no matter what the interpretation, he will be safe from the king. Daniel obviously cares about the king - for he wishes the interpretation was regarding the king's enemies. Sadly, it regards the king himself. So to the explanation.
First, the tree is the king and speaks of his authority and power. But God decreed that the king was to be driven mad and away from the people. He was to live with the cattle in the fields - and this condition would continue for seven periods of time. What these periods are isn't explained. And at the end of this time, the kingdom would be restored to him. But, this would only occur when the king finally acknowledged God's authority over him and over all. This was therefore God's judgment on the arrogance of the king. Consequently, Daniel called Nebuchadnezzar to repent of his sins. If he did, it might be that God would not take the promised action and the king could continue to prosper. But ...
Verses 28-33: Apparently the king did not repent, for twelve months later when he was feeling especially good, and as he looked out over Babylon, he was overwhelmed with his own greatness, He claimed responsibility for all he surveyed. And before the words were barely out of his mouth: A voice came from Heaven saying the dream would be fulfilled, and so it was. And the king didn't even hide from the recipients of his proclamation the complete account of his degradation, for he describes his condition in full detail. His description sounds a lot like Howard Hughes. His hair and nails grew long. He was a victim of the elements. He ate at "grass is us." And his mind was gone. Because he lifted himself above God he is brought down to the level of a beast.
To be continued.