Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful man on the face of the earth, as the unrivaled leader of the massive Babylonian Empire. His military victories had expanded his kingdom beyond anything the world had seen before. Built on the site where the Tower of Babel had been constructed following the Flood, Babylon was the representation of the very best that the world’s system had to offer.
Standing on the walls of the greatest city on earth and looking at his accomplishments, Nebuchadnezzar’s heart was filled with pride. He began to boast of all that he had accomplished. God hates pride, and He sent Nebuchadnezzar a stern warning in a dream, which Daniel came to interpret for him.
Daniel warned the king that God would judge his pride unless he repented. He fearlessly confronted a man with the power of life and death and told him the truth. We need more of that in the Church today! Daniel interpreted the dream to warn Nebuchadnezzar that if he continued on, he would lose his mind and spend seven years living like a wild animal. Only when he was finally ready to acknowledge the God of Israel as the one true and sovereign ruler would Nebuchadnezzar’s reason return, and his throne be restored.
For a year, Nebuchadnezzar did change his ways. But then his pride returned, and judgment fell. “Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, ‘Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?’ Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, ‘This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you’” (Daniel 4:29-31).
Today there are many people, even within the Church, who, like Nebuchadnezzar, are walking in pride. Even their religious observance is part of the world system. They are convinced in their minds and hearts that they are responsible for their achievements and accomplishments. They are proud and lifted up. And the rebuke of God that Daniel proclaimed to Nebuchadnezzar is being sounded once again today.
It was only when Nebuchadnezzar’s pride was exposed, and he genuinely repented that God could heal and restore him to power. Nothing happens in this world in the power of the Kingdom without repentance. Until and unless our hearts and minds change, the power of God will not be released. We cry out for God to hear our prayers and heal our nation and our churches, but before that will happen, we must heed the Babylonian Rebuke.