King Nebuchadnezzar reigned over Babylon (605 – 562 BC) and defeated all of his many enemies, including Assyria and Judah. The powerful king was a ruthless, ambitious ruler, but in 582 BC, he had a dream that frightened him.
Nebuchadnezzar called for his magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune tellers to come to his court and interpret the dream for him. They could not do it.
Then, the king called for Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar in the Babylonian language). Daniel came and interpreted the dream by saying that the king would be driven from his throne by a unique madness, live in the fields, eat grass with the animals for seven years, and remain that way until King Nebuchadnezzar understood that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He chooses.
Daniel then said:
“Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.” (Daniel 4:27)
The prophet Daniel’s advice to the king mirrored the words of John the Baptist and Paul the Apostle when both said, “Repent, turn to God, and perform deeds in keeping with your repentance.”
Daniel did not guarantee that King Nebuchadnezzar would be able to avoid God’s judgment by following his advice, but felt God might lessen His judgment against Nebuchadnezzar if the king repented.
Of course, we know by reading the rest of the Daniel Chapter 4 that Nebuchadnezzar turned a deaf ear to Daniel’s advice and went through a seven-year judgment, but in the end the king said:
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (Daniel 4:37)
I believe the city of San Francisco is now in the same position as Nebuchadnezzar when Daniel spoke his prophecy and advice to him.
(Continued in Part 8…the full series to date can be read here.)