When God Gets Personal Dan. 4:1-37 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This is an interesting account in the scriptures. To begin with this is written in the words of Nebuchadnezzar, in other words he is retelling the story. The other thing that makes this story so interesting is the events that take place within this story.
In the passage we see that God makes Nebuchadnezzar into a beast and he eats grass like an ox. He loses his understanding and is driven from the palace to live outside. But after 7 seasons his understanding returns and he regains his kingdom. God did all these things to Nebuchadnezzar to show him that he was the supreme God and he ruled over heaven and earth. Also it was to show Nebuchadnezzar that God had allowed him to build the kingdom of Babylon and that he did not build it himself.
This was a very personal event for Nebuchadnezzar and it had a great impact on him. Many times when God wants to change us or teach us something or even deal with sin he gets personal in our lives. Let us look at the story of Nebuchadnezzar and learn from his personal experience with God.
What is the purpose of God getting personal?
It usually doesn’t matter what the reason is for God getting personal, and we will discuss some of those in a moment, but the reason is to bring about some kind of change within us. If we look at Nebuchadnezzar we can surely see that a change had taken place within him after this event.
In Daniel chapter one Nebuchadnezzar sees the wisdom that God gives Daniel and the 3 Hebrew children but it has very little effect on him. After Daniel interprets his dream in chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges Daniel’s God but does very little else. In chapter 3 when God delivers Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, Nebuchadnezzar blesses God and prohibits anyone from speaking against him. But after the time spent as an animal we see a change in Nebuchadnezzar concerning God and this is shown to us in Daniel 4:1-3,34-37.
Why does God get personal?
1) Sometimes it is sin (Nebuchadnezzar)
- The problem with Nebuchadnezzar was pride (Daniel 4:27-31)
- Even after the warning he still failed (Proverbs 16:18 ; Proverbs 6:17)
2) Sometimes it is for the benefit of someone else (Joseph)
- In Genesis 50:20 Joseph tells his brothers that what they meant for bad God used for good to save many people alive.
- To effectively minister to others we must have some trials ourselves (2 Corinthians 1:4)
3) Sometimes it has nothing to do with you whatsoever (Job)
- God was using Job to prove a point to Satan, but we must be careful in these situations because Job got self righteous when his friends showed up.
What is God trying to teach us when he gets Personal?
1) That he is in control (Daniel 4:17,25)
- Even though Satan is the God of this world, God is allowing him to do whatever he does and therefore is ultimately in control.
- No matter how much we think we are in control we are really not.
2) God can protect you during the storm (Daniel 4:36)
- An amazing thing that while Nebuchadnezzar was out to pasture God protected his kingdom no one tried to take over why he was not in control.
- It is better to be in God’s hands even if you are being chastened (2 Samuel 24:10-16)
3) God is trying to teach you something (Daniel 4:17,26,36-37)
- Learning is hard because it is work (Matthew 11:28-30)
- Note how Paul learned (Philippians 4:10-13)
4) God wants the praise during and after the storm (Daniel 4:1-3,36-37)
- Praise is hard because it is sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15-16)
If God is dealing with you personally whether you know why or not just be patient let him teach you whatever it is that he is trying to teach you and give him the praise, honor, and glory that he deserves.