Daniel 4* Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the power of Jehovah. (1-18)Daniel interprets his dream. (19-27) The fulfilment of it.(28-37)1-18 The beginning and end of this chapter lead us to hope,that Nebuchadnezzar was a monument of the power of Divine grace,and of the riches of Divine mercy. After he was recovered fromhis madness, he told to distant places, and wrote down forfuture ages, how God had justly humbled and graciously restoredhim. When a sinner comes to himself, he will promote the welfareof others, by making known the wondrous mercy of God.Nebuchadnezzar, before he related the Divine judgments upon himfor his pride, told the warnings he had in a dream or vision.The meaning was explained to him. The person signified, was tobe put down from honour, and to be deprived of the use of hisreason seven years. This is surely the sorest of all temporaljudgments. Whatever outward affliction God is pleased to layupon us, we have cause to bear it patiently, and to be thankfulthat he continues the use of our reason, and the peace of ourconsciences. Yet if the Lord should see fit by such means tokeep a sinner from multiplying crimes, or a believer fromdishonouring his name, even the dreadful prevention would be farpreferable to the evil conduct. God has determined it, as arighteous Judge, and the angels in heaven applaud. Not that thegreat God needs the counsel or concurrence of the angels, but itdenotes the solemnity of this sentence. The demand is by theword of the holy ones, God's suffering people: when theoppressed cry to God, he will hear. Let us diligently seekblessings which can never be taken from us, and especiallybeware of pride and forgetfulness of God. 19-27 Daniel was struck with amazement and terror at so heavy ajudgment coming upon so great a prince, and gives advice withtenderness and respect. It is necessary, in repentance, that wenot only cease to do evil, but learn to do good. Though it mightnot wholly prevent the judgment, yet the trouble may be longerbefore it comes, or shorter when it does come. And everlastingmisery will be escaped by all who repent and turn to God. 28-37 Pride and self-conceit are sins that beset great men.They are apt to take that glory to themselves which is due toGod only. While the proud word was in the king's mouth, thepowerful word came from God. His understanding and his memorywere gone, and all the powers of the rational soul were broken.How careful we ought to be, not to do any thing which mayprovoke God to put us out of our senses! God resists the proud.Nebuchadnezzar would be more than a man, but God justly makeshim less than a man. We may learn to believe concerning God,that the most high God lives for ever, and that his kingdom islike himself, everlasting, and universal. His power cannot beresisted. When men are brought to honour God, by confession ofsin and acknowledging his sovereignty, then, and not till then,they may expect that God will honour them; not only restore themto the dignity they lost by the sin of the first Adam, but addexcellent majesty to them, from the righteousness and grace ofthe Second Adam. Afflictions shall last no longer than till theyhave done the work for which they were sent. There can be noreasonable doubt that Nebuchadnezzar was a true penitent, and anaccepted believer. It is thought that he did not live more thana year after his restoration. Thus the Lord knows how to abasethose that walk in pride, but gives grace and consolation to thehumble, broken-hearted sinner who calls upon Him.
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