Monday Night Bible Study - BOOK OF DANIEL - CHAPTER 4

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT

Monday Night Bible Study

Colorado State Veterans Home

Aurora, Colorado

June 14, 2010

by Chaplain Janet Marston

DANIEL CHAPTER 4 – NO TREE IS TOO BIG FOR GOD TO CUT IT DOWN

If I didn’t say in the earlier chapters that old King Nebuchadnezzer was nuts, well, I am saying it now. Chapter 4 definitely proves that King Neb is loony. Again, old King Neb starts to stray away from the true God, and God gives him another dream. In Daniel, Chapter 4, King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of an enormous beautiful tree that reached the sky and towered over all the land. This tree was used for shelter and food for all the animals that dwelled there, but that the tree was stripped of its branches, all leaves and fruit cut off and the trunk was cut down to a stump, but allowed to live and eat among the animals, and to have the mind of animals. Daniel was asked, once again, to interpret King Neb’s dream. Daniel said that the tree was King Neb, who had become so great and strong that his kingdom and greatness had extended to the far distances of the earth. Daniel went on to say that King Neb would go insane and would be thrown out of his kingdom by his own people and would live and eat among the animals for “7 times” which is believed to represent 7 years, until such time that Neb acknowledges again that Heaven rules, then he would be restored to his kingdom and would be mightier than ever. About a year later, the dream came to pass. King Neb went insane, and the people threw him out of the kingdom to live and eat among the animals. He lost his kingdom, ate grass and acted like the animals. He literally went insane. What a wacko! Neb lived there for about 7 years before he acknowledged that Daniel’s God is the true God and that Heaven rules. Then, he gained his sanity back, and his kingdom was restored to him, even bigger and better than before.

Some people today become so big and powerful, just like a giant tree, that they lose sight of the truth, and they turn away from the True God. In most cases, people really do lose their sanity, their sense of reality. Just look at the media today, talking about rich and wealthy people who lose their minds and go insane – the more money and power they get, the more insane they become. This is because they turn away from God. Their new god becomes money, fame, power, or other things, which are all false gods and are not the truth. They are all lies. And “non-truths or lies” will make you insane. To our God, the True God turning away from Him is turning away from reality and is insane. God is bigger than any person in the world. No one is too big for God. No one is too powerful or rich for God. No matter how big your tree is, it is never too big for God to cut it down.

Only the TRUTH will set people free – GOD IS THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE AND THE TREE OF LIFE – more powerful and mighty than any of us little human trees on this earth. The real TRUTH is in the wonderful salvation that God provided for us through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, who died for all of our sins.

LORD, JESUS, THE ONE TRUE GOD, THE TREE OF LIFE, THE ONLY TRUE WAY TO SALVATION, I TURN MY LIFE OVER TO YOU TODAY. SAVE ME FROM MY SINS, MY STRENGTH AND MY REDEEMER. AMEN.

Daniel 4

(Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of a Tree)

(1) King Nebuchadnezzar,

To the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in all the world: May you prosper greatly!

(2) It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.

(3) How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.

(4) I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous.

(5) I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me.

(6) So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me.

(7) When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers [a] and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me.

(8) Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)

(9) I said, "Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me.

(10) These are the visions I saw while lying in my bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous.

(11) The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth.

(12) Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the beasts of the field found shelter, and the birds of the air lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed.

(13) "In the visions I saw while lying in my bed, I looked, and there before me was a messenger, [b] a holy one, coming down from heaven.

(14) He called in a loud voice: 'Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches.

(15) But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. " 'Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth.

16) Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times [c] pass by for him.

(17) " 'The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.'

(18) "This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you."

(Daniel Interprets the Dream)

(19) Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, "Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you."

Belteshazzar answered, "My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries!

(20) The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth,

(21) with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the beasts of the field, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds of the air-

(22) you, O king, are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.

(23) "You, O king, saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live like the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.'

(24) "This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king:

(25) You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.

(26) The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.

(27) Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue."

(The Dream Is Fulfilled)

(28) All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.

(29) Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon,

(30) he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?"

(31) The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.

(32) You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."

(33) Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

(34) At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.

His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.

(35) All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"

(36) At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.

(37) Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Footnotes:

Daniel 4:7 Or Chaldeans

Daniel 4:13 Or watchman ; also in verses 17 and 23

Daniel 4:16 Or years ; also in verses 23, 25 and 32

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