That’s what happens when you try to act hot!

August 31st, 2007 • Category: Book of Daniel
by Mark Shoup

Today’s scripture: Daniel 4:28-33 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Mark Shoup):

My friend Kevin has never been one to mince words or withhold his opinions from those around him. When he was a teenager, he used to babysit for a couple of younger kids while their mother worked in the afternoons. One particular afternoon, one of the kids — let’s call him “Evel Knievel” — was showing off for Kevin with his bicycle. He was demonstrating how he could ride the bike without using his hands. Gravity and poor judgment combined together and resulted in a pretty terrific spill. After the accident, as Kevin was bandaging Mr. Knievel’s knee, he wailed, “Why did this happen to me!” Kevin shot back, “That’s what happens when you try to act hot!”

That is exactly what is happening to King Nebuchadnezzar in today’s Bible passage. He has gotten just a little too pleased with himself and his kingdom, failing to give God credit for all He has given him.

Before he is even finished patting himself on the back, God sends him a reality check. The once wealthy and all important king is suddenly reduced to wandering around in the wilderness like a wild man with matted hair and long uncut fingernails. It’s apparent that he has gone insane. Not only that, but for seven years he suffers like this, homeless, alone and confused, before he looks to God and God restores his sanity.

Sometimes I imagine that without God’s presence in my life, it would not take long for me to revert to some kind of creature not too dissimilar from that of King Nebuchadnezzar during his seven “wild” years. It’s easy to forget that without God, we would have nothing, would be nothing, and could really do nothing of any worth.

How richly God has blessed even the poorest of us! How often do we take for granted things like medical care, our jobs, and the high quality food available to us? These things are rare for many people around the world, and we have them in abundance! We are richly blessed!

Thought for the day: Do you know someone who is stuck in the “wild” years? Won’t you stop and pray for them today?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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