2006-12-10 - Daniel
Installment 32 ~ "You've Gotta Be Nuts!"
Chapter 4:1-37: What turns men into beasts? This occurs when men fall below the level that God had created them to live. Actually one might argue that men are lower than beasts in these situations, because beasts function at the level God intended for them. Becoming beastlike was certainly a problem Nebuchadnezzar would find himself coping with -- forty three years into his rule.
"In the twinkling of an eye, Nebuchadnezzar became a raving maniac. With wild shrieks he rushed from the room and down the staircase as the crown of gold toppled from his head. Across the tiled floor of the throne room he raced, tearing from his body his regal robes and scattering them as he went. Through the doors and down the corridors he ran bellowing like a wounded bull while the palace retainers stood by in consternation. By the time he issued from the great door of the palace he was very little encumbered with garments of any kind, only his tunic and short trousers remaining, and these he also discarded as he continued his mad flight down Palace Way. Nebuchadnezzar, the proud and dignified monarch of the greatest empire of ancient times was running down the street of his capital city, stripped, stark naked." 1 (sic)
And God has often chosen to deal with men this way. It is essentially this situation that Paul speaks to in Romans 1:
"For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity, for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done" (Romans 1:20-28).
Self-worship brings men down to the level of beasts, actually below, because they no longer function as they were created to. This is what happened to Nebuchadnezzar. And this is what we can say to anyone who is in to self worship: You've Gotta Be Nuts!"
1 Graham, James R., The Prophet-Statesman, Higley, 1955, pg. 110.
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