No matter what happens, God is in control.
We have a hard time believing that. We like to think that we are in control of everything. King Nebuchadnezzar did. Of course he did. Remember, he was the mightiest king on earth.
But then he had another dream.
King Nebuchadnezzars dream frightened him. And so he called in all his magicians, astrologers, fortunetellers and wisemen to tell him what it meant.
Last night I had the strangest dream King Nebuchadnezzar said. In my dream I saw a huge tree. It grew bigger and bigger until all people everywhere could see it. Its leaves were beautiful, and its branches were full of fruit - enough for the whole world to eat. Animals rested in its shade, and birds made their nests in its branches.
But then I saw an angel who watches over all things here on earth. The angel proclaimed in a loud voice, Let the tree be cut down, and its fruit be scattered. Drive away all the animals that take shelter under its branches. But leave the stump in the ground, with a band of iron and bronze wrapped around it.
And then I saw a man. The angel who watches over all things proclaimed, Let this man live like an animal for seven years, so that all people everywhere will know that the one, Almighty God has power over all things on earth.
That was my dream, said King Nebuchadnezzar to all his magicians, astrologers, fortunetellers and wisemen. Now tell me what it means.
Oh, oh. The magicians, astrologers, fortunetellers and wisemen were in trouble again! They didnt know what the kings dream meant!
And so King Nebuchadnezzar sent for Daniel, because he knew that God was with him.
The King told Daniel his dream, and Daniel became so afraid he couldnt speak.
Dont be afraid to tell me what my dream means, said King Nebuchadnezzar.
Your majesty, I wish I could tell you something different, but this is the message that God has given you in your dream. You are the tree you saw in your dream. Your kingdom is great, and your power reaches over all the world. But then you saw the tree was cut down, and you saw a man who lived like an animal. This is what God says will happen.
You are the greatest king in the whole world, but you are nothing compared to the God of heaven. And so that you will know that you have no power at all, except what God has given you, your kingdom will be taken away from you.
For seven years you will live with the animals in the forest. You will eat grass like a cow. You will sleep on the ground, and when you wake up each morning, you will be wet with dew. Then you will admit that the Almighty God is king over all the earth. He is the one who gives power to whomever he chooses.
But, your majesty, continued Daniel, When you DO admit that God rules over all things on earth, then your mind will be restored to you, and you shall be king again."
And then Daniel gave the king this great, but simple advice,
A year went by.
And nothing happened.
But then one day, King Nebuchadnezzar was walking along a balcony of his royal palace in the golden light of the early evening. He looked out over the great city of Babylon and all that he possessed. What a great and mighty king I am! he said.
Before the words were even out of his mouth, a voice from heaven said, King Nebuchadnezzar! Now is your power taken away from you!
And in that moment, the great and mighty King Nebuchadnezzar became like an animal. He ran from the comfort of his palace and lived in the fields and forests.
Seven years passed.
King Nebuchadnezzars hair grew as long as eagle feathers, and his fingernails like bird claws. He ate grass like a cow, and the rain fell on his head.
And then one day King Nebuchadnezzar looked up to the sky.
He admitted that God was King over all things. And immediately he came to his right mind again. He praised God, and said,
Now I know that God is King over all things
King Nebuchadnezzar returned to his royal palace, and God gave his kingdom back to him, even greater than before.