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?” (Daniel 4:30, NASB, emphasis added)
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride. (Daniel 4:37, NASB)
We are all familiar with before and after pictures. We are bombarded with them all the time. Whether it is weight loss, muscle gain, clothing, makeup, hairdos, or any other kind of makeover, a picture is worth a thousand words. In this passage of Scripture we see the before and after picture of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon: from pride to poor in spirit. Let us look at these two portraits and what God used to create this makeover.
Daniel 4:30: the picture of pride. Notice the pride in this verse: I myself have built; by the might of my power; and my majesty. Notice something? It is all about King Nebuchadnezzar! Pride always draws attention to self to exalt the self above all others. Pride loves to take all the credit for actions and accomplishments done for self-promotion. Pride wants the honor and to be recognized by everybody within earshot. Pride is never satisfied and seeks more and more self-gratification. The self is never done filling itself!
Daniel 4:31-33; 5:20: the makeover. God goes to work by humbling Nebuchadnezzar with this bizarre event in his life; we can call this an extreme makeover. Sometimes God intervenes with an extreme event uninvited as in this case with Nebuchadnezzar. Often the Lord will only work when we invite Him to work in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit in complete surrender to His will. Verse 33 describes this makeover of Nebuchadnezzar in detail:
Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven from mankind and began eating grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. (Daniel 4:33, NASB)
But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit became so proud that he behaved arrogantly, he was deposed from his royal throne and his glory was taken away from him. (Daniel 5:20, NASB)
Daniel 4:34-37: the picture of poor in spirit. When this event was completed Nebuchadnezzar was a changed man. Verses 34-37 reveal the new heart of the king as he praises God with the complete recognition that the King of heaven is the true King and the king-maker upon the earth. The glory, honor, and majesty that Nebuchadnezzar bestowed (or even stole from God) upon himself he now gives (or gives back) to the true King whom he now recognizes as the Most High (verse 34). With this change of heart the kingdom of Babylon was restored to Nebuchadnezzar. We need to learn, like him, to be poor in spirit because otherwise the Lord God will humble us some way as Nebuchadnezzar stated at the conclusion of this passage: “And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”
Pray to determine what glory you have taken away from the Lord and restore that glory back to the rightful owner now. Pray and allow the Holy Spirit to do something extreme in your life to accomplish His will.