Daniel is a book that exposes kings and kingdoms for what they truly are – much pomp with very little substance. Kingdoms come and kingdoms go but the earth abides forever. The prophecy of Daniel reveals kings as power mad, vicious, insensitive tyrants, who possessed as much compassion as your garden variety rat. Nebuchadnezzar seems fixated on dismembering people. Daniel was a humble man who received revelations from God, and because he was humble he made sure his hearers knew from where his visions came. After receiving Nebuchadnessar’s dream and its interpretation he praised God and said,
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.” (Daniel 2:20, 21)
When he entered the king’s presence and before he told Nebuchadnezzar his dream and its interpretation he first said,
“As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place. But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.” (Daniel 2:29, 30)
“That you might understand the thoughts of your mind” seems to be somewhat strange; we would think a man would know his own mind. However, the Bible is clear that the heart is deceitful above all things, therefore, self deception is a very common occurrence. Nebuchadnezzar was given a great gift in Daniel because he was enabled to see true humility in action. The king knew that Daniel was given to know things that mere men could not know without divine aid, and upon hearing Daniel he fell at his feet and worshiped him. Of course that was both amazing and stupid, amazing that his pride aloud him to do so, and stupid because Daniel just told the man about the only God that should be worshiped.
Even though Nebuchadnezzar had Daniel typifying true humility before him he continued to think himself to be something he was not, which was great. He raised a statue to himself and almost cost three righteous men their lives. If the king had listened to what God told him in a dream, first directly and then by Daniel, and took heed and repented of his pride he would not have had to spend 7 years eating grass and acting like an animal. However, apart from the intercessory work of God in a sinners heart none of us can repent and believe. To the praise of God Nebuchadnezzar finally came to the knowledge of the truth and out of his own mouth he spoke these words.
“This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers and the decision is a command of the holy ones, In order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)
God sets over the kingdoms of His world the lowliest of men. Every king that has ever ruled has been a sinner deserving the punishment of hell. Apart from God’s grace everyone born of a woman is facing divine judgment, we are all just too proud to see it. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
Daniel’s prophecy is one of kings that were great in their own eyes, but not so much in God’s. The old adage is all true true, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is a prophecy of dreams and visions, the abuse of power, of kingdoms that rise and fall in the course of history that we can now look back on and see that it came to pass. Since the prophecies came to pass, there is no reason in the world not to believe that it won’t end the way God said it would.
It is amazing how world leaders let everyone know how great they are. Jesus was born in a stable and He did not perform a miracle for 30 years. He would not allow HImself to be crowned king for the lusts of men but He did allow Roman soldiers to shove 4′ Judean thorns in His head as a mock crown. Jesus healed masses of people for all the country to see during the time of His ministry out of divine mercy and grace and then allowed hypocritical religious leaders to find Him guilty of nothing by paying false witnesses and refused to hear the truth that He was the Messiah, which He was.
The only king worthy of His name, the only Lord worthy of the same is the Lord Jesus Christ. All other men should be humble and rule from their humility and not from arrogance and pride. God’s word stands true that He bestows on the realms of mankind rulers whom He wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men. Even the best of leaders when compared to the Lord Jesus Christ are lowly men.