Nebuchadnezzar Blesses the Most High God
There was a time in the long ago (about 607 B.C.) when God's people of Israel were conquered by the Babylonians and many were hauled away to Babylon as slaves. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon built a huge idol and required all his subjects to worship the statue. However, three young Israelite men refused and were thrown into a fiery oven as punishment for disobeying the king.
Well! You have no doubt heard the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. Theywere saved from incineration by a mysterious being:
"Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." ~ Daniel 3:25 NKJV
Of course, this changed Nebuchadnezzar's attitude toward the God of the Israelites instantly. He had never seen this sort of god-power in his life! He immediately ordered that the three Israelites be loosed from the fire and promoted them to higher positions in his kingdom of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!" ~Daniel 3:28 NKJV
God then caused Nebuchadnezzar to dream a fearful dream. The king made a decree for his wise men to interpret. He began his retelling of the dream with a praise to the Most High God:
Nebuchadnezzar the king,
To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me. How great are His signs, and how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation. ~ Daniel 4:1-3 NKJV
Signs and wonders! Yes, although we are happy that the young slaves were miraculously spared a fiery end in the oven, it took a lot for God to impress this Babylonian king, did it not?
Anyway, so Nebuchadnezzar did praise the Most High God and none too soon, since his dream ended up being interpreted by God's prophet, Daniel, who foretold the future of the king. He was soon to become mentally ill and roam the fields, eating grass with other beasts. He would be unable to rule his kingdom for seven years and endure terrible humiliation living outdoors with no protection from the weather. I wonder if Nebuchadnezzar had not given Almighty God some glory over the signs and wonders during the worship-of-the-image-fiasco; if he would have remained a beastly human for the remainder of his days on earth.
As it turned out, the king came to his senses at God's appointed time at the end of seven years, and his kingdom was restored to him even more splendorous than before. Nebuchadnezzar also appeared to have converted to worshipping the Most High God for the remainder of his life.
"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down." ~ Daniel 4:37 NKJV
My take-away is to praise the Most High God and be humble. Our reward in the end is restoration to God's heavenly kingdom! What could be better than that?