Twelve months later he was taking a walk on the flat roof of the royal palace in Babylon. As he looked out across the city, he said, ‘Look at this great city of Babylon! By my own mighty power, I have built this beautiful city as my royal residence to display my majestic splendor.’1 “While these words were still in his mouth, a voice called down from heaven, ‘O King Nebuchadnezzar, this message is for you! You are no longer ruler of this kingdom. You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with the wild animals, and you will eat grass like a cow. Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.’ “That same hour the judgment was fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven. He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws. (Daniel 4:29-33 NLT)
So, 12 months before Nebuchadnezzar experienced the realities of the dream, he summoned Daniel to interpret said dream. Daniel made sure that Nebuchadnezzar knew that: The Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.” (v.25) He warned that Nebuchadnezzar would lose his kingdom if he did not change. Well — he didn’t change. So he was driven from human society, lived like a wild animal and ate grass like a cow.
After seven periods of time we see this: I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever. He then continues with a prayer of great praise. Along with his returned sanity also came his former honor and glory and kingdom. And the last verse of the chapter: Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All His acts are just and true, and He is able to humble the proud.
Let’s look at the word sanity a little more closely to understand what Nebuchadnezzar experienced. The Hebrew Concordance defines sanity as: knowledge, understanding and reason. You may know of someone who, like Nebuchadnezzar, has lost their sanity. Maybe they have lost their way or even have lost everything, while others have lost nothing. The question is, will they learn? I suspect that for those who have not been humbled, and had not sought out the Most High God, they probably won’t.
It’s tempting to ask God to give to those who have lost their sanity Nebuchadnezzar’s experience. But rather than that, I believe it is more critical that we, as followers of the LORD God, help those in our lives understand what sanity is all about; what truth is all about.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NLT)
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NLT)
But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. (1 Corinthians 1:14 NLT)
Read last week’s blog, Dealing with Trauma – When Bad News Abounds