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March 29, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“King Nebuchadnezzar, To the nations and peoples of every language, who live in all the earth: May you prosper greatly! It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.”—Daniel 4:1-3 (NIV)
I have kept multiple journals since I was in elementary school, and to this day I still love reading through them. Filled with childhood memories, honest prayers, life updates, and Bible verse doodles, my journals have been a constant source of laughter and encouragement. As I read through them, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the Lord’s unmerited faithfulness in my life, especially in my darker hours. Oftentimes, I am so inspired by reading them that I write another entry to praise God for what He has done.
What we see in the opening verses of Daniel 4 can be compared to a journal entry, specifically, a journal entry focused on reflection. The entirety of Daniel 4 is actually written by Nebuchadnezzar himself, and he writes, in retrospect, about how God humbled him. To avoid any “spoilers,” let me just say that God’s way of humbling Nebuchadnezzar was not your typical famine or locusts type of event. The Lord completely stripped Nebuchadnezzar of his pride, his power, and his sanity. All this to say, his story was definitely a humiliating one. However, when we invite our fully gracious and fully just God to step into our story, all of our shame and humiliation will be redeemed by His perfect love and irrevocable forgiveness.
For this very reason, Nebuchadnezzar starts this chapter with much enthusiasm. We can see the extent of his joy in his address, “To the nations and peoples of every language, who live in all the earth.” Turns out Nebuchadnezzar was not just writing a journal entry. He was writing his personal testimony for everyone and anyone to read! What a beautiful foreshadowing of Jesus Christ who would come to earth and extend the same redemption given Nebuchadnezzar to the entire world!
We all have individual stories like that of Nebuchadnezzar—stories of how God stepped into our lives and freed us. We have experienced the grace of God and surrendered to His sovereignty and benevolence; therefore, there is no reason for any of us to be ashamed of what God has redeemed us from!
Although sharing our testimonies can often be difficult, I hope we can be challenged by the passion Nebuchadnezzar had for sharing his redemption story. May we not withhold the beauty of our Father’s grace and might and the glory of His humbling presence. May we take steps of faith to boldly proclaim the story God has written in each of our individual lives, for it is “by the word of [our] testimony” (Revelation 12:11) that the darkness of evil will be conquered and the light of Christ will be spread.
DIG: What does Nebuchadnezzar’s all-inclusive address of his letter reveal about God’s redemption and grace?
DISCOVER: It may be hard for some of us to look at our pasts, but we must look back in order to truly see God’s faithfulness and discover our testimony. What is your testimony? Look back today and ask God to show you your story in a new light.
DO: Share your story, or a part of your story, with someone this week.