Nebuchadnezzar’s Testimony

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In Daniel chapters 2,3 and 4, king Nebuchadnezzar interacts with Daniel and the God of heaven.  Through each of the experiences that Nebuchadnezzar has with God, he increases his understanding of the one, true, and living God.
Nebuchadnezzar was a polytheist.  A polytheist believes in many gods.  What possibly could a polytheist learn about the true God?
In Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar calls for his magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and Chaldeans to interpret a dream that he has experienced.  Adding to the difficulty of the situation, we are informed by the king that he had forgotten the details of the dream (2:2, 2:7).  These men were asked to recount the dream and give the interpretation of it.  The magicians were the priestly scholars attached to the temples of the gods.  They dealt in different types of magic.  There was creative magic that focused on delivering from illnesses.  There was prognostic magic which dealt in divination or attempts to foresee impending events.  There was dream magic.  Assyrian dream manuals are known to us today.  Finally, there was malevolent magic which involved inflicting some type of harm to enemies.  Astrologers were involved in casting horoscopes and making predictions based upon the stars.  Sorcerers used charms and spells.  The Chaldeans were the elite of Babylonian society.  They were masters of great learning.  Nebuchadnezzar probably belonged to this elite group.  The king desired that these special and learned men relate to him his dream and its meaning.  They were the very best of Babylon.  However, none of them could interpret the dream.  The king then determined to destroy them.  Daniel recognized the dilemma and after receiving the dream and its interpretation from God (Dan. 2:19), he went before the king and said, “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.  Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these…” (Dan. 2:28).   Then, Daniel revealed the dream to the king.  Nebuchadnezzar said, “Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret” (Dan. 2:47).   The true God knows the past, present and future.  Daniel demonstrated that he and his friends were ten times better than the Chaldeans (Dan. 1:20).  God makes a significant difference in our lives.
In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are delivered by God from the fiery furnace.  Nebuchadnezzar made a great image similar to the one that was revealed in the dream that he had and that was revealed to him by God through Daniel.  The king commands that all in the kingdom of Babylon must fall down and worship the great image.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow (Dan. 3:16-18).  King Nebuchadnezzar ordered them to be burnt alive in the fiery furnace.  However, God preserved them and delivered them.  Once place into the fire, the fire had no power to consume them.  In Dan. 3:28-29, Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve or worship any god, except their own God.  Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.”  Nebuchadnezzar now learns that God saves by His power.  God can nullify the word of the king.  God is worthy of the trust of His children.  God’s glory is to be praised and protected.
In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar is punished by God for lack of moral integrity (righteousness), failure to be merciful to the poor (no love for neighbor), and overgrown pride (Dan. 4:30) (lack of love for God).  God humbles the king and causes him to eat grass like an ox and to change his physical appearance in a most grotesque way (Dan. 4:31-33).  After this experience, Nebuchadnezzar said, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase” (Dan. 4:37).  Nebuchadnezzar once again acknowledges God’s power.  He praises God for His truth and judgments.  He recognizes God’s eternality (Dan. 4:1-3).
With every new experience, Nebuchadnezzar grows in his knowledge and understanding of the true God.  He learns that there is a God in heaven who: knows the past, present and future, elevates His children, saves His children from their enemies, has power to nullify the word of a king, is worthy of the trust of His children, possesses a glory that surpasses that of men and all idols, is great and eternal, has a kingdom that is eternal, judges sinners and humbles them, and whose greatness is unsurpassed even by the king of the greatest empire in the world at that time.  The testimony of Nebuchadnezzar is the unprejudiced testimony of a man who was a polytheist, but who came to know the one, true and living God!