The most powerful king of the Babylonian Empire, which under his rule became the dominant world power having crushed the Assyrians. He made a huge statute of himself that was to be worshipped, by all peoples. This set him on a collision course with God who says He is the only one who is to be worshipped (Ex 20:4-6). He ruled from 605 to 562 BC. His story is told in 2 kings 24, 25, 2 Chronicles 36, Jeremiah 21-52, Daniel 1-4.
Lessons from his life: * Even though he was a pagan king, God out-worked His purposes through his life (2 Chr 36:17; Jer 21:1-10, 27:3-8). God is not restricted to only using His children, but all creation is subject to divine directives, either willingly co-operating or unwittingly fulfilling His objectives (Prov 16:1, 21:1).
* On several occasions, God revealed to Nebuchadnezzar His mighty power. For example, Daniel interpreted his dreams having on one occasion not even been told what the actual dream was; at another time the three Israelite men emerged from the fire untouched. Even though Nebuchadnezzar said, “No other God can do what this one does”, this proud king did not change his ways (Dan 2:26-47, 3:15-29). When God speaks as clearly as this why don’t people make life-altering actions? Do we forget the demonstration of God’s power in our lives?
* Pride continued to be his major character defect – “I, by my mighty power…” (Dan 4:30). He had been warned through a dream of impending humiliation if he continued on this pathway of personal importance. He didn’t repent so the judgement of God upon his life, as outlined in the dream, was fulfilled, and he suffered 7 years of mental illness before he became king again – after He ultimately acknowledged God as the Lord of nations, a righteous God much more powerful then he, the king, was (Dan 4:4-37). What a lot of anguish he could have spared himself if he had acted on Daniel’s advice to renounce his sin. Do I stubbornly continue in my own pathway thinking I am impervious to any other powers? God does not always give second chances.
See also: Babylon, consequences, Daniel, second chance, strong willed, stubborn.