Nebuchadnezzar Ate Grass
William Blake’s Famous Illustration of Nebuchadnezzar Gone Mad
Could this happen to us?
Accomplished Persian leader who conquered Judah
Nebuchadnezzar II (c 634 – 562 BC) was king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who reigned c. 605 BC – 562 BC. According to the Bible, he conquered Judah and Jerusalem, and sent the Jews into exile.
He is credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the destruction of the First Temple..
Meaning of his name
The Akkadian name, Nabû-kudurri-uṣur, means "Oh god Nabu, preserve/defend my firstborn son". Nabu is the Babylonian deity of wisdom, and son of the god Marduk. In an inscription, Nebuchadnezzar styles himself as Nabu’s “beloved” and “favorite”.
His time of power
The second chapter of Daniel relates an account attributed to the second year of his reign, in which Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a huge image made of various materials (gold, silver, bronze, iron and clay).
The prophet Daniel tells him God’s interpretation, that it stands for the rise and fall of world powers, starting with Nebuchadnezzar’s own as the golden head.
Persecution of Hebrews
In Daniel chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar erects a large idol made of gold for worship during a public ceremony on the plain of Dura.
When three Jews, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (respectively renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego by their captors, to facilitate their assimilation into Babylonian culture), refuse to take part, he has them cast into a fiery furnace.
They are protected by what Nebuchadnezzar describes as "a son of the gods" (Daniel 3:25) and emerge unscathed without even the smell of smoke.
Warning about pride, and his punishment
Daniel chapter 4 contains an account of another of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams, this time of an immense tree, which Daniel interprets that Nebuchadnezzar will go insane for seven years because of his pride.
While boasting over his achievements, Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by God.
The king loses his sanity, and lives in the wild like an animal for seven years.
After this, his sanity and position are restored and he praises and honors God.
Are you eating grass?
Many of us assume that our self confidence is natural and healthy, but will not admit we have “too much” of it.
We overachieve, and we are very aware of our accomplishments. We see ourselves as being responsible for our own success.
We credit ourselves with working hard, making good decisions, being smart to take the right opportunities, and avoiding those who would hamper our path to success. We associate with the right people, and do not waste our time with activities that take away from our progress.
And suddenly, we face shame or a sudden traumatic event that destroys all we have worked for.
What went wrong?
The 7 years Nebuchadnezzar experienced was to humble him. He thought the same way.
He was named after his god of wisdom.
What good did that do him?
There is a 7 years period that is haunting us now.
We know that there is a tribulation period coming, and a last week of Daniel.
Soon, many people may be “eating grass,” including Christians.
The attitudes that:
I am so great
I am so important
I have accomplished so much
Look at all I have done
I am so anointed
I am so smart
I am so holy
I am so worthy
Will all end.
All sin is based on pride, and lack of submission (humility) to YHVH God.
We think we can do what we want, that God’s opinion is irrelevant, and he will just have to accept us the way we are.
That bird won’t fly when the tribulation comes.
Assigning the blame to Satan
Many people think when a negative event, or set of events occur, it is because the devil is attacking them, or people are.
This may be true. This gets us sympathy from others, and they pray for us.
This is comforting, and if true, the circumstances will turn around with prayer.
I do not want to discount the fact that Satan attacks true believers.
This post is not about that topic.
Or this may be avoiding the real issue.
Root causes of pride
1. Insecurity, past rejection, need for acceptance.
2. Selfishness, rebellion
Getting with Reality
Or, they might consider that it is God punishing them for their pride, and humbling them, and they “will eat grass” until they admit their pride, and repent.
The bible says that God resists the proud!
In fact, he “hates” the proud person. Ouch!
Psa 101:5 Whoso privily slanders his neighbor, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
Pro 16:5 Every one [that is] proud in heart [is] an abomination to the LORD: [though] hand [join] in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
Pro 6:16 ¶ These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18 An heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19 A false witness [that] speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren.
Pro 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, [and] the plowing of the wicked, [is] sin.
Isa 13:11 And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.
Once God resists you, so will people!
Then you are really doomed.
At least God is forgiving and merciful, if you repent.
People are not as magnanimous as God is.
Will we admit any pride we have?
God does not want our excuses.
Justifying ourselves before God and others will not change our negative circumstances.
He wants a humble loving heart, open to his mercy and blessings.
Will we humble ourselves, repent, and ask God for his help in correcting our spirits?
Otherwise, we will “eat grass” during the tribulation.
If we really love God, we can do this.
If we really love ourselves more, it won’t happen.