“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” (Daniel 4:17).
If ever a man had reason to boast of his accomplishments, it was King Nebuchadnezzar, who wrote the above words. He had built the world’s most beautiful city and developed the greatest empire the world had ever seen. He had even conquered God’s chosen nation and destroyed its magnificent temple. “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” he gloated (Daniel 4:30).
But God has warned: “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12). Lucifer, the most glorious being in all creation had been lifted up with pride, and soon lost his exalted position (Ezekiel 28:17). If the highest angel and the greatest emperor could not afford to be proud, then who are we? “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (I Corinthians 4:7).
Let all kings and presidents, all celebrities and dignitaries, rich men and beautiful women take note. Even pastors and evangelists, Christian speakers and musicians, and others, are in constant danger of falling. Nebuchadnezzar had to suffer seven years of deep humiliation, but then he could say: “Now I . . . honor the King of heaven, . . . those that walk in pride He is able to abase” (Daniel 4:37). It is probably the hardest—yet the most important—of all lessons we need to learn. “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (I Peter 5:5,6). HMM