“And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.” – Daniel 4:37
King Nebuchadnezzar, in all of his knowledge and wisdom, in all of his success with building projects and restoration, became prideful. He began walking around like he was “the man.” He had a dream that perplexed him and once again Daniel had the interpretation. Daniel did not want to give the answer to the king, because it was not a favorable one. As a result of his pride, Nebuchadnezzar would be stripped of his kingdom.
God did not strip the kingdom from him right away, he was given a year to repent. The sin was identified and exposed yet Nebuchadnezzar never repented. God in His righteousness had to bring correction. At the very moment that Nebuchadnezzar began to glory over all he had built, God brought judgment. For seven years Nebuchadnezzar would live in the fields with wild animals. He was given over to a depraved mind and lifestyle. This is always the result of unrepentant sin. God is patient with us, but when it is time for judgment, He brings it swiftly.
A story is told of the famous preacher Alexander Whyte when he was young. “An incident in Whyte’s childhood illustrates his theology of conviction. Whyte caught his arm in a threshing machine and everyone thought he would lose it – except a neighbor who was skilled in such matters in a homey way. She would not let them take the boy to the hospital for surgery. The pain became severe, and Whyte’s mother summoned the neighbor again. She looked over the situation and said: ‘I like the pain, I like the pain.’ She was right. The arm healed. The pain had been the first step toward recovery. When people complained that Whyte’s sermons were too critical, he could well reply, ‘I like the pain.’ “
Nebuchadnezzar had to experience pain on his road to recovery, but the end result was that he praised God when he was restored. Is God dealing with your sin today? How are you responding? The Bible tells us that God is patient but will ultimately bring judgment swiftly. Maybe it is time to “like the pain” and get on the road to recovery and restoration of your soul?
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9