Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 5:2 – Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. (NIV)
Daniel 4:37 – Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (NIV)
Recently, my Wednesday evening Bible study group began studying the book of Daniel. During our last session, we discussed the historical events, recorded in chapter four, concerning King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of Babylon. Daniel worked as his close advisor in the royal courts.
Interestingly, this passage of Scripture is unique because it contains an autobiographical record and personal testimony relating to Nebuchadnezzar's illness and miraculous recovery. Because of his pride, the king was afflicted with a disease known today as "boanthropy", a disorder in which a human behaves like an animal. However, after the Lord restored his sanity, Nebuchadnezzar gave honour and praise to the "King of heaven". This is a remarkable statement coming from one who had been a worshipper of many gods.
But prior to this announcement, we observed a very different character: a person full of arrogance, resentment, and pride. Still, Daniel remained loyal. He was a respectful and compassionate servant, without compromising his faith in the true King — the God of Israel.
So much can be acquired from Daniel's example, in his communications with palace officials and especially in his relationship to the Lord. Moreover, we can learn from Nebuchadnezzar, a pagan king, who humbled himself before Almighty God.
And now, as we are about celebrate the birth of the King of kings, let us examine our relationship to Him. Is He Lord of our lives? Are we loyal servants? Have we let go of pride? Do we turn to our God and King for help in times of trouble? Does He receive from us all the honour, glory, and praise due His name?
Prayer: Sovereign Lord, during this Christmas season, we humbly acknowledge that You are King of the universe and King of our lives. We thank You for coming into this world to save sinners. May we boast of nothing except the righteousness and power of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Enrich our relationship with His Majesty — the Prince of Peace — while we seek to serve You faithfully with all our hearts. In Messiah's holy name, we pray. Amen.