Take Heed Lest You Fall
By Bobby Blakey on February 4, 2019
Take Heed Lest You Fall
By Bobby Blakey on February 4, 2019
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:02] I invite you to open the Bible and turn with me to the book of Daniel 4.
[00:00:08] And since the beginning of the year and going all the way through Easter, we are working our way through the adventures of Daniel, who's been exiled to Babylon. His three friends Hand and I am Michail and Azariah and the man who has invaded Judah, desecrating the Temple of God in Jerusalem and basically taken these young men hostage back to Babylon. The leader of it all is King Nebeker Nasr and Daniel Chapter four. It's on page 740. If you got one of our Bibles and this is a chapter from King Nebeker, Nessa's perspective.
[00:00:48] So he is the ruler of the Kingdom of Babylon. He is the most powerful man in the world.
[00:00:55] And he now has a message that he wants to share with everyone on planet Earth, including us here this morning. Daniel, Chapter four, follow along with me is all read for us here in verse one. King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations and languages that dwell in all the earth. Peace be multiplied to you.
[00:01:21] And that seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the most high God has done for me. How great are his signs? How mighty his wonders his kingdom is in ever lasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.
[00:01:40] So he kind of gives us his conclusion right here at the beginning. And if you're reading that, you're thinking that doesn't sound like the king. Nebeker Nasr, we've met in the first three chapters. I mean, he says some good things in some of these chapters, but then he seems to completely forget it. By the next chapter. But now he seems to really have come to a conclusion about God.
[00:02:01] How did he get to this conclusion? Let's keep reading verse four. I never Nasr was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. And I saw a dream that made me afraid as I lay in bed, the Fancy's and the visions of my head alarmed me.
[00:02:18] So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream.
[00:02:28] Then the magicians, the Enchanters, the Chaldeans and the astrologers came in and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation. Now, if you think he's just recapping the dream he had in Chapter two. You'll see this is a whole new dream we're getting to hear in Chapter four. So he's the mighty king, the most powerful man in the world, plagued by bad dreams and nightmares. And he's looking for somebody to interpret and hear in verse eight. Here comes ah ah, man. Daniel at last. Daniel came in before me. He who was named belt to QAZ after the name of my God and in whom is the spirit of the Holy Gods. Or that could be translated in whom is the spirit of the Holy God. And I told him the dream, saying, Oh, to QAZ, our Chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the Holy Gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you. Tell me the visions of my dream that I saw. And their interpretation, the visions of my head as I lay in bed were these I saw and behold a tree in the midst of the earth and its height was great.
[00:03:38] The tree grew and became strong and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the ends of the whole earth. Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant. And in it was food for all the beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it. And I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed and behold a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven.
[00:04:10] He proclaimed aloud and said, thus chopped down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.
[00:04:20] Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Let his mind be changed from a man's, and let a beast mine be given to him and let seven periods of time pass over him.
[00:04:51] The sentences by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the Holy Ones to the ends that the living may know that the most high rules the king.
[00:05:01] Name of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it. The lowliest of men, this dream I. King Nevison as their socks. And you owe Bell to shares are. Tell me the interpretation. Because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation. But you are able for the spirit of the Holy Gods or Holy God is in you.
[00:05:26] So yakking Nevison Azour having a dream about a tree. And then this wotcher, this angel comes from heaven and says we gotta cut down the tree down to its stump. And then he, the watcher, says he is going to go from the mind of a man to the mind of an animal.
[00:05:45] And and he and the king is disturbed. He's alarmed. He says, Daniel, you gotta help me out. Tell me what it means. And you see Daniel's response. And we really need to pay attention to Daniel's response because this is important for us. Verse 19. Then Daniel, whose name was Beltz Qassar, that's how he was known there in Babylon. He was dismayed for a while and his thoughts alarmed him. So Daniel wasn't just like, here's your interpretation. He took the burden of King NEBs dream.
[00:06:15] And he felt. I mean, he was distressed about this dream. He was alarmed about.
[00:06:22] And it was really heavy upon him to the point where even the king can see it. The king answered and said Bell to QAZ are let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you. Hey, Daniel, why are you so way down by this dream? I didn't mean to be a burden to you, but you can see belt QAZ answered and said, My Lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies. I wish this dream was about somebody else besides you.
[00:06:48] King Nebeker Nasr. And then he tells him the interpretation.
[00:06:53] Verse 20, the tree you saw which grew and became strong so that its top reached heaven and it was visible to the end of the whole earth whose leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all the under which the beasts of the field found shade, and whose branches the birds of the heavens live. Can you picture this huge tree going all the way up to have it? All the animals living in it? Oh, just this beautiful tree. Well, that's you. Oh, King, you're the tree.
[00:07:21] You have grown and become strong.
[00:07:24] Your greatness has grown. And it reaches to heaven. Your dominion to the ends of the earth. You are really the king. And the whole earth is living under your kingdom.
[00:07:35] And because the king saw a watch or a holy one coming down from heaven and saying chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with the band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts of the field till seven periods of time pass over him. And we think that seven years that we think that's what it means there by periods of time. So seven periods of time are going to pass over him. Verse 24. This is the interpretational king. This is a decree of the most tie which has come upon my Lord, the king that you, the King of all the Earth, shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven. Seven periods of time shall pass over you till you know that the most high rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. And it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree. Your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that heaven rules. So there is the dream kingdom Wickenheiser. Your kingdom is going to be taken away from you and you're going to be driven from being among men to being among the animals. You're going to eat like an animal, the grass of the field. You're going to lay down in the grass and be wet with the dew of heaven, like an animal out there to pasture. You're going to not think like a man. You're going to think like an animal for seven periods of time.
[00:09:06] That's the prophecy. That's the dream. And now here's Daniels commentary.
[00:09:10] Here's the heart of Daniel pleading with King Navigant. Ezzard therefore O King. Let my counsel be acceptable to you.
[00:09:18] Break off your sins by practicing righteousness and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity. Hey, hey, King, you need to change your ways. You need to turn from your sins, stop doing sins and start doing what is right. What does he call on the king to do here? He's telling him, repent. Change your mind. Turn around. There's still a chance. God given you a dream. It's alarming. It's a warning. If you'll just listen to what I'm saying. If you'll take heed, this won't have to happen to you.
[00:09:58] And it brings up First Corinthians, chapter 10, verse 12. Therefore, I let anyone who thinks that he stands.
[00:10:03] Take heed, lest he was. King, you don't have to fall like this. You don't have to get humble down to the level of an animal king if you'll just humble yourself.
[00:10:17] But this is what happens, verse 28. All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar at the end of 12 months.
[00:10:25] He was walking on the roof of the Royal Palace of Babylon and the king answered and said, is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residents and for the glory of My Majesty.
[00:10:43] And while the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven.
[00:10:47] Oh, King Nebuchadnezzar to you, it is spoken the kingdom has departed from you and then everything in the dream happens to King. That and he gets his kingdom taken away. He gets driven away from men. And he lives as an animal for seven periods of time because he would not take heed. He had to fall.
[00:11:11] One of the things we're gonna see here from this chapter, one of the main things the Bible is trying to teach us is that pride always comes before the fall. And if we don't take heed, if we don't humble ourselves before God, he will humble us. Can I get any men from anybody on this guy? This is a. This is a story that happened to the most powerful man in the world at this time.
[00:11:39] And it's a story that was sent to everyone. This is a lesson that every single person, every nation, every people group, every language. We're all supposed to know the story of King never can answer.
[00:11:50] How you can be the mightiest in the whole world, can be under your kingdom and you can be the king and you can be made the lowest by God because he is able to take those who are proud and make them humble.
[00:12:05] And we need to take heed lest we get puffed up with pride.
[00:12:10] And lest we fall, one of the things we should learn from the Old Testament is that walking around on your roof is a very dangerous thing to do. OK. There's a real danger and you don't have to be a king to experience this danger where you start to get to a place in life where you're blessed, where life is good and God has given you some things he's given. You may be a business, a company, a career. He's given you a family, spouse, kids.
[00:12:41] He's given you material, blessings, a house, a car, nice things.
[00:12:46] And you can stand there and you can look at the things that you have. And instead of giving glory to God and thanking him for his goodness, you can begin to believe that you had something to do with it.
[00:12:59] And you can begin to think, look what I've done. Look at what I've made.
[00:13:04] Look at the right. My right choices, my hard work, my willpower. Look at where it's gotten me now. And you can stand there on your roof. You can survey your kingdom and you can start thinking it has something to do with your glory. And Your Majesty, that's what happened to King Nebeker Nasr. And it was all taken away from him.
[00:13:23] He had to be humbled because he wouldn't be humble. You know, this even happens with people when they grow in their faith. This even happens without good things like spiritual life and a relationship with God.
[00:13:37] People are humbled in their life and they're low because of their sin. And they look and they see God and how the father sent his son Jesus and how Jesus died on the cross for them and how Jesus rose again. And they see that and they believe in it, and they're saved out of their sin and they're given a new life. And it's so exciting. And they're hungry to grow.
[00:13:59] And they're humble before God. And they realize that God's the one who's done the work of salvation in their life. And they want to read the Bible. They want to pray. They want to know God. And what happens is they begin to grow. And God does his good work in their life. And he teaches them from the word. But here's what happens as they learn more about the word. It's not about knowing God. It's just about knowledge. And what does it say in the Bible that knowledge does what it puffs up.
[00:14:29] Instead of being hungry to grow, they start thinking, yeah, I'm growing.
[00:14:34] I start thinking, yeah, I know a lot about the Bible. Yeah, I've prayed and God's really answered my prayer.
[00:14:39] Yeah. Look, I'm really mature in my faith. Even in your walk with the Lord. You can have something called spiritual pride where you start looking at your own Christian life and you start thinking, look at what I've done.
[00:14:53] Look at how I've grown.
[00:14:57] And you've got to be careful if you're up on your roof and you're taken a look around. You're in a position of pride and you might be fixin for a fall. It might become an very quick. Point number one, let's get it down like this, you need to develop a godly fear of heights. That's what we need around here. You need to develop a godly fear of heights if God is blessing you in some area of your life or perhaps he's blessing you in your entire life. Watch out, because you might start thinking that it was you who did this.
[00:15:33] And if you don't acknowledge God and give him the glory, that pride, that thinking that you stand, you need to take heed lest you fall. And maybe you're thinking, yeah. But King Nebeker has heard some mighty king of the whole world. He's a guy who worships false gods. Clearly from reading Daniel, so far, he's an egomaniac, totally obsessed with himself. Maybe it's hard for you to personally relate to King Nebeker, an answer that seems kind of distance from you. Well, he's not the only king who went up on his roof and had a mighty fall. And in fact, this can happen to a man after God's own heart. Turn with me in a second, Samuel, Chapter 11. Join with me in a second. Samuel, Chapter 11. Let's go deeper into the heart of the Old Testament here. Back to the story of King David and King David.
[00:16:24] He's a he's a hero to God's people of Israel. He's a hero really to all of us of the faith. A young man overlooked by his father and brothers, but a man of bold faith. And he was a shepherd and he liked to write songs about God.
[00:16:38] And he would fight a lion and a bear, even a giant, because he believed the battle belonged to the Lord and he wanted everybody to know the glory of his God. And so he would go and fight battles as a warrior. He would write beautiful songs as a worshiper.
[00:16:55] Man, this is King David. And then something happens to him. And second, Samuel, Chapter 11, page 262. If you got one of our Bibles and I don't know if you've ever read versus second Samuel, it's like a novel in the Bible. It's like a compelling story of a guy's life. And once he does this walk on his roof here in second Samuel Eleven, his life is never the same. The story is dark. There's tension in his family. There's consequences because of sin from this chapter for the rest of his life and says here.
[00:17:26] And second, Samuel eleven in the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle. David St. Joab, do you see what it say in there when David was supposed to be doing his job as the king to lead the troops into battle because the battle belongs to the Lord? Yeah, he sent somebody else.
[00:17:44] He sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they ravage the Ammonites and besieged. But David remained at Jerusalem.
[00:17:53] And it happened late one afternoon when David a rose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house that he saw from the roof. A woman bathing. And the woman was very beautiful. David should have been far away from their fight, fighting a war for the glory of God. And instead he's taken a nap and he's browsing around on the roof of the king's house. And when he sees this woman, he doesn't look away. He inquires about her. He invites her over. And that is the fall of King Dave. And you may not be a king, you may not have a palace, but you have a roof. You have a place where God has taken you in your life. And if you begin to think that you got yourself there, you two will fall. This is a lesson we all need to take, DA. We all need to make sure that we are giving God the glory for anything good that we've got. And we need to be humble before God if we are not humble before God. We will be humbled by God. Those are the two options that we have in life. And this is a command for every single one of us. That me, the pastor, preach in the word.
[00:19:13] The young men who are growing and hearing the word, every single one of us here in the church, we are all commanded to have humility term within a first.
[00:19:23] Peter, Chapter five. Let's go to the New Testament and let's just look at a passage that commands this for us as Christians, people who have believed in Jesus Christ, who want to talk about someone who exercised humility. How about Jesus when he came to serve and die in our place. And he paid for our sin. And we are commanded as his people. We are commanded to have humility towards God and towards one another.
[00:19:51] So first, Peter. Chapter five, page 1016. If you got one of our Bibles, it's a it starts here in Chapter five addressing the pastors and it's telling us that we better have the right hard attitude. Then it addresses those who are younger and it says the younger ones who are grown, they better make sure they stay humble, they stay teachable and listening to their leaders. And then it addresses all of us here in verse five. First Peter, chapter five, verse five. Likewise, you who are younger be subject to the elders. And then it says here now everybody in the room, everybody who's a brother, a sister in Christ, clothe yourselves. All of you with humility toward one another for Keyline. You want to write this down, underline this. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
[00:20:42] That's a commonly quoted scripture in the Scripture. God is against the proud. God will humble the proud. But God gives grace. He gives his goodness to the humble. And then it tells us here what to do. Humble yourselves.
[00:20:58] Therefore, under the mighty hand of God. So at the proper time he may exalt you casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.
[00:21:07] You can't have this thought that you're going to do it with your own hands. Whether it's something big in your life, whether it's here, you know, bring in your your family together or doing your work that God has you to do, whether it's solve in your own big life problems or whether it's the little day to day things. You can't have this thought that you're going to do it by your own strength, by your own willpower, with your own hands. No, you have to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. That's who you need in your life. And some people, they'll be like, yeah, I'll pray to God about the big things. All ask God for help. About the big things. When I have a crisis, financially or relationally, then I'll reach out to God. Then he'll help me. We need God for everything. Every day God gives us life and breath and all things. And I think breath is pretty important.
[00:22:00] Are you with me on that one? You keeping yourself breathing right now? Is that what you're doing? You're telling me that you're telling the air to come in and keep you going. That's what you're doing. See, this is a problem, it's a major problem that we have here as Christians in Orange County is we think we've got we need God's help with some things, but some things. We're just doing fine. And you know what happens when you think that you're doing fine or you can do it in your own strength. You get anxious is what happens. Because at some point and some of us will last longer than others. But if you're living by your own strength and your own willpower, at some point that will begin to fall apart and you'll start to get worried. You'll start to get anxious because you've been putting on this sense of I've got this and I'm going to do it.
[00:22:43] And then all of a sudden you realize you don't have it and it's not working out. And anxiety will come in and consume you. Fear will will overtake you because you were trying to do it. And when you ever we think of ourselves as the mighty or the mighty are always going to fall.
[00:22:59] So that's why we're supposed to have this humility and we're supposed to think that God's the one who will lift me up. God's the one who's going to do it. I'm trusting in his mighty hand. And then when I have something, whether it's a big thing, whether it's a little thing, when I take that anxiety, I take that care and I cast it up to God. I know that he cares for me and he's the one who's gonna take care of it, not me. So I'm humble. I'm declaring my dependents every day on God and in prayer, and I'm asking him to do it because I know I can't do it. That's the attitude it's talking about here, a real sense of humility before Almighty God. And if if I'm worried about it, if it's too much for me. Well, that means I haven't prayed to God about it. I haven't taken it to him. He's the one who's gonna do it. And so if you're on the roof and you're looking around and you're thinking, hey, things are going well, look what I've done, watch out. Take heed lest you fall. That's what we see happened to King. Now bikinis. Now go back to Daniel for. Because what's amazing to me, what really left off the page to me as we're working our way through this as I was studying. And what I want you to see here is I want you to see how Daniel genuinely cares about King Nebeker Nasr. And this is kind of mind blowing, I think, because King never Nasr, from one perspective, has ruined Daniel's life. Daniel was growing up worshiping your way over there in Jerusalem, and he was he was somebody who was important there among the the people of of God. They're the Jews. And I'm sure he had plans for his life. He had dreams. He had goals. I'm sure he had something that he was hoping was going to happen. And then here comes King Nebeker Nasr, and he literally kidnaps him, takes him hostage and brings him back to Babylon. You hear where he's going to brainwash him, give him a new God, new identity, new lifestyle. I mean, this guy has ruined Daniel's life.
[00:24:56] And we've seen in the first three chapters that God has taken what King Nebeker Nasr did for evil. God has taken and made good in amazing, inglorious ways. But I would think that if Daniel got this dream, there might be a little part of him that's like, all right, King Knab, now you're gonna get yours this time.
[00:25:15] Right. Oh, watch out. King Knab, you came in. I remember when you took that stuff out of God's temple. I remember when you gave me a new name. I remember when you did all this stuff. Well, now it's your turn.
[00:25:26] King Navigant, as he doesn't have any of that attitude at all.
[00:25:30] In fact, he seems genuinely heartbroken for King Nebeker Nasr. It seems like he cares about him like he loves it.
[00:25:39] Like when Kingdome Wickenheiser tells him this disturbing and alarming dream that he has. Daniel is alarmed and disturbed. Look back at verse 19. It says he was dismayed for a while. There's like a period of time where he's got a perplexed look on his face and he is carrying the way he is bearing the burden of King Nevison Ezard. In fact, the king is even alarmed because he sees Daniel alarmed. And he says led not the dream or the interpretation alarm you. And then Daniel says here at the end of verse 19, my lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies. King Nick Nabil Nasr. I wish this wasn't gonna happen to you. I wish this was gonna happen to your enemies. I'm sitting there thinking. King Nebeker Nasr is your enemy.
[00:26:27] But no, he doesn't think like that. He's identifying with King Nebeker Nasr.
[00:26:33] In fact, he's wishing ill on the king's enemies. He's putting there as his trusted counselor and adviser, Daniel genuinely cares about the king. In fact, at the end of the interpretation, he pleads with the king to respond. So this won't happen to him. Look at verse 27 again. This isn't the interpretation of the dream. This is Daniel's commentary for the king. Therefore, oh, King, let my counsel be acceptable to you. Will you please listen to me, King?
[00:27:04] Break off your sins by practicing righteousness and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity. These are really bold words to say to a king, especially a king like Nebeker Nasr, who just threw his buddies in the fiery furnace in the last chapter.
[00:27:23] Hey, King, you need to repent before this happens to you.
[00:27:26] You're in sin right now. You got to cut off that sin. You've got to stop that sin. You've got to start doing what is right. You've got to practice righteousness, King. There's time. You can still have an opportunity. You need to change your mind. Stop doing what you're doing and start doing what you should be doing.
[00:27:43] Hey, King, you're not doing this right. You have all the power. Everybody's under the shade of your tree. And here you are oppressing people. You shouldn't be oppressing people under you. You should be showing them mercy. You need to change the way your ruling is.
[00:27:56] King, don't oppress people. Show them mercy.
[00:28:01] Hey, if you change your ways, if you humble yourself and admit you've got some things wrong that you need to make right before the most high God in heaven, maybe this won't happen to you and there could be a lengthening of your prosperity rather than you losing everything.
[00:28:17] He is reasoning with the king and begging him to do what is right.
[00:28:23] And this is something that you and I really need to see the heart of Daniel and even how God works in the Old Testament. The reason God gives people warnings of judgment, what we might call bad news. The reason God warns people that judgment is coming is he's giving them a real opportunity to to change their ways so they won't be judged.
[00:28:45] It's a genuine offer from God to King Navigant, as are the reason God just doesn't take the kingdom and make him the mind of an animal is because he's giving him an opportunity to change his mind before he loses his mind.
[00:29:02] And Daniel, man, it's heavy, you can tell when Daniel says this to the king. It's heavy upon him.
[00:29:10] And this is important for all of us, for me, as I'm up here preaching God's word for you, as you're going to share what God has said, what you're learning from the Bible, and you're going to share it with your family members, your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors. We are going to have to say things that God says.
[00:29:27] Warnings about the consequences of sin and the wages of sin is death. And after death comes judgment we're going to have. I hope it's not easy for you to say hard things to people.
[00:29:40] I hope you feel for the people that you're talking to. That's what we see here from Daniel.
[00:29:45] He's got to tell the king. You're going to lose your mind and you're going to be like an animal. And that bothers him that he's going to say that now. He's going to say it because it's the word of God. And he's going to say the message from God. He's not going to make up his own message. But as he says, God's truth, he's speaking in love to the king and he really cares for the king. And he really doesn't want this to happen to the king. He wants him to change his ways. Is that how you approach people that you're sharing the truth of God with?
[00:30:16] I mean, are you ready? See, some we can miss this either way, right? Some people we really care about people, but we don't want to tell him the truth of what God says because we know it might be hard for them to hear. And so we love them. But we back away from the truth. Other people, they got no problems sharing the truth of God with somebody.
[00:30:33] But it's not clear that they really care about the person and they're saying it because they love them. See, this is a good example right here of speaking the truth in love. He cares for the most proud man on the planet, the most the most ego centric person, perhaps one of them that has ever lived. He really cares about it.
[00:30:53] This is surprising point number two, we need to have compassion on the prowl. That's what we see here from Daniel. Have compassion on the proud. In fact, that's what we see from God.
[00:31:05] The dream, even though it's an alarming dream, even though it's a nightmare of what's going to happen. The whole reason God gives King Nebeker Nasr the dream is so that he could learn the lesson through the dream rather than having to learn the hard way of experience.
[00:31:24] And it's an act of compassion for God to even give him the dream. It's an act of compassion when Daniel interprets it and pleads. King, will my council be acceptable? King, will you listen to what I'm saying?
[00:31:39] And so the Old Testament has gotten a bad reputation and specifically a lot of these prophecies, that something bad is going to happen, some kind of judgment is going to come if there's ever a warning from God and the Bible is full of warnings from God. The reason God gives warnings is so people will listen to them and they won't experience the disaster that's ahead of them. Proud people get warnings so they don't have to fall but can humble themselves instead. Turn with me to Jeremiah, 18, and this is an important passage for you to mark down. Jeremiah, 18, starting in verse seven. This really tells us how the Old Testament, how prophecies work. And it's on page six hundred and forty six. If you got one of our books, Jeremiah, 18, and Jeremiah was a prophet to God's people there in Jerusalem before King Nebeker, Nasser came and invaded them.
[00:32:36] And this is how it works with the King Nevison, Ezra and Daniel four. And this is how it works when God gave so many messages to the northern kingdom of Israel. And he warned them, the southern kingdom of Judah. He warned them, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, all kind of nations on the world. God sends them messages to warn them of coming judgment. Here's why. Jeremiah 18, verse seven.
[00:33:00] If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it. And if that nation concerning which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do it.
[00:33:21] Here's what God's saying. Here's how it works. I'm going to send my prophets and they're going to warn people, all different nations. They're going to warn them, hey, you're in sin and judgment is going to come upon you because of your sin.
[00:33:33] But if they hear that message and they turn from their sin, if they repent, then I will relent of my judgment.
[00:33:43] And the evil that I've said is coming upon them won't come upon them if they repent. So this is why.
[00:33:53] Proud people get to hear warnings from God. They get to hear the message, though. The call to repent. The good news that if they turn from sin, there's forgiveness in Jesus Christ. There's no condemnation in Jesus Christ. You won't have to be judged for what you're doing if you will humble yourself and turn to God. All of that can be avoided. That's why there's these strong warnings throughout the scripture. But it also says this verse nine, if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and planted.
[00:34:25] And if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do it. So let's say there's a nation like his people of Judah. Let's say there's a nation that starts out honoring God and giving him glory and acknowledging him. But then over time and God says, hey, I'll bless that nation. But then over time, they turn away and they start doing evil. God's not going to continue to bless them. No. Now, there's gonna be not good done to it. And now they're going to receive judgments.
[00:34:58] God is saying I'm gonna have a real relationship with people.
[00:35:02] And if they listen to me and they turn from they're saying, hey, I'm gonna hominum bless them, I'm not going to judge them. But if they act like they already know me and then they turn away from knowing me into sin, well, then they're going to be judged how you live. Your life really matters. God is saying, I want to interact with people.
[00:35:23] And then he says this in verse 11, this was the nation to the people there and Judah. Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, thus says the Lord, behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return every everyone from his evil way and to mend your ways and deeds. Here's God now saying to his own people, the people that you wanted to bless and the promised land. And he's saying, you guys are now doing evil. And if you don't turn away from it, I'm going to come and judge you. Did the people of Judah heed the warning? You tell me. No, they didn't. That's why King Nevison answer came in.
[00:35:59] And now King Nebeker Nasr is getting his own warning that he's going to be judged if he does, if he doesn't humble himself. God's going to humble him. Does King Nebuchadnezzar heed the warning?
[00:36:09] OK. So let's be humble here today.
[00:36:13] Guy. If the whole history of humanity is people not heeding the warnings of God, is it quite possible that you and I could do this Bible study here this morning and then go home and be proud in our hearts?
[00:36:26] Is it possible that by later today you could be taking a walk on the roof of your palace?
[00:36:33] See, here's the thing that we really need to be concerned about. If you're somebody who has a hard time having compassion on the proud, if you're looking down on the proud, where does that put you? And we are living in a nation that is so full of pride. We're living in a nation that I think started out acknowledging God as the one who had brought us together in these United States of America. And we are so divided, we are not even close to one nation under God at all. In fact, we have pride parades in our nation.
[00:37:06] In fact, we have people who say clearly they don't need God. They don't believe in God. And we have people who acknowledge God, but they live their life completely apart from him, like they can do it just fine with their own hands.
[00:37:17] I'm pretty sure that's the American dream, is that you can make a life for yourself.
[00:37:24] There is so much pride around us. We got to check our own hearts and watch out for pride there.
[00:37:32] And then as we're interacting with people who are clearly proud, they are not humble before God. They're not acknowledging God, giving him glory. They're not acknowledging that they need him and his mighty hand to work. Hey, be careful. Make sure you have compassion on the proud.
[00:37:48] Because they're going to fall.
[00:37:51] They're going to fall, and I hope that you and I, we can have the heart that God clearly has here in JEREMI 18 that Daniel had for King Nebeker Nasr, that we can see what's going to happen to the proud people around us. And we would want to have compassion on them, not judgment upon. Can you say that you have a compassion on the proud people who who do you identify as somebody who acts like they don't need God, who acts full of themselves? Are you sorry for that person in that condition? Do you see them that they are on such a slippery slope? I mean, how many celebrities, how many politicians, how many stories in the Bible or in the news do we need to read to see that we don't want to be one of those people up there on top of the world because they always fall down? I'm not envious of them. I feel sorry for them. And I hope you do, too. And when we come to them, and even if we have to bring an intense message that your pride is not OK and God is going to humble you. We should bring it in a way where there's good news, where there's care, where there's love. And the reason I'm telling you this is I don't want you to fall down and get destroyed. That's why I'm telling you. I'm telling you, because if you will humble yourself before God. He won't have to humble you. And I'm begging with you. I'm pleading with people in this room right now. If you're living your life like you don't need God, you need to humble yourself here today, because if you don't, a fall is comin.
[00:39:22] And I'd prefer for you to learn here today to take heed. God is giving us all a warning through the life of King Nebeker Nasr. He is warning all of us. And if we take heed and listen to his warning, we won't have to experience the fall because of our pride.
[00:39:40] But if we ignore this and we continue to think that we've got it and we're going to be fine and we can do it, we will all fall.
[00:39:50] Pride always comes before the fall. That's the message. And so when we see the proud, we should have compassion for them. Show them we care. Give them the message, especially we have such a good message that Jesus has already taken the judgment for them. Jesus has already humbled himself for them. We should be able to share that message with them in the truth and in love. Now go back to Daniel for and let's see what actually happens to King Nebeker Nasr because he is so puffed up and he doesn't listen to Daniel. It says it's 12 months later, they're in verse twenty nine. I mean, talk about the patients of God. He gives him a dream and then he gives him 12 months to respond.
[00:40:37] And he responds wrongly. He doesn't get the point of the dream in the interpretation. He forgets that that alarmed way that he felt and he becomes puffed up again and he says, just look at it again. There in verse 30 is not this great.
[00:40:51] Babylon would look at this, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence.
[00:40:57] And for the glory of My Majesty, I mean, this is just a bold, audacious statement completely. Again, he's basically saying, am I not a beautiful tree that all the world lives under?
[00:41:11] Mean he's speaking directly against the dream that was given to him. And wow, I mean, it's so appropriate. While the words are still coming out of his mouth, a voice speaks from heaven. King Nebeker Nasr, you thought you were at the top looking down from the roof of your palace? No. Let me speak down to you.
[00:41:29] Oh, King Nebeker Nasr to you would have spoken. The kingdom has departed from you and you shall be driven from among men. And your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field.
[00:41:38] And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox.
[00:41:42] And seven periods of time shall pass over you until you know that the most high rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.
[00:41:52] Now, after the voice says that which is a reiteration of what we've already heard in the dream and the interpretation. That's the third time it says that verse 33. Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nevison Azour and he was driven from among men and eight grasps like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as Eagle's feathers and his nails were like bird's claws.
[00:42:22] I mean, I have a hard time even picturing what that would look like. A man down on the ground eating grass like an ox.
[00:42:32] I mean, I don't know what you're having for lunch today.
[00:42:34] I don't know what you're having at your Super Bowl party, but I doubt you're eating the grass outside here in front of the church. Now, some of us are getting closer and closer to eating grass these days, but I bet this is like down on all fours, eaten grass. If you saw a human being down on all fours chomping on the grass out here, you would think we got a crazy person here at church this morning.
[00:42:58] We got somebody who is insane and then they're just lying in the grass, waking up in the morning wet with the dew of heaven.
[00:43:05] Totally not taking care of himself. Not even with the mind. It said that his mind, the reason of a man has left him, and he only has now the reason of an animal. He went from the highest man, the king of the Earth, and he went to the lowest of men. A man who lived for seven years like an animal. This is the lesson of what God thinks about pride.
[00:43:31] And there's something that you and I are supposed to know. And it said it three times. Look back at verse 32. This is the point of the story.
[00:43:38] This is what you and I are supposed to know. It says here, until you know that the most high rules, the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. This is the moral of this story of King Nebeker Nasr being made like an animal for seven years. You and I need to know the most high is really the one who rules the kingdom of men. And he's in heaven. And he does whatever he wants here on earth. He'll make whoever he wants to be king. He'll raise people up. He'll tear people down. Our God is in heaven. And he is the ruler of earth. He is the most high. No one else compares to him. Even if you're on the roof of your palace, you can still look up and see the most tie to him. Be the glory. That's the point. That's what you're supposed to know. OK, so this is what humility is. We're not saying, hey, go and feel bad about yourself. That's not what humility is. You go and try to be humble and try to think about how low you are.
[00:44:38] Guess who you're gonna go think about the rest of the day. You. That's not humility. Humility is having a high view of God. That's what it is. And when you see God as the most high, it puts you in the proper perspective.
[00:44:52] Point number three, let's get it down like this. See yourself under the most high.
[00:44:57] That's the perspective that we need. That's the way you gotta think. OK.
[00:45:02] You cannot go and try to be humble. No, you need to go and have a high view of God that will make you humble. And especially when you see others is more important than yourself, then you will be humble towards other people.
[00:45:18] So we're trying to put ourselves now in the right perspective that God is the most high in heaven and he can do whatever he wants. Even with my life, if he wants to lift me up, if he wants to tear me down, he can do whatever he wants with me. Okay. Now I see myself as low before a high and lofty God. Now I'm in a place of humility. See, the problem that we have today is not that we have such a low self-esteem. The problem that we have is we have such a low God esteem and we're supposed to see him as the most high. That's the point. Never organizer. You're going to walk around like an animal for seven years until, you know, the most high is the ruler of the kingdom of Amen.
[00:46:01] And he does whatever he wants and he'll give you the kingdom.
[00:46:05] He'll take it away from you and make you like an animal, and then he'll give the kingdom right back to you. Why? Because that's what he wants to do.
[00:46:12] And he's the most high.
[00:46:15] Three times in verse 17, verse 25 and verse 32, it's the clear theme of the chapter, and if you go all the way back to verse two, it's what never can. There's a road at the beginning. It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the most high God has done for me.
[00:46:35] So he understood I was high. I was the king of the world. I was towards the top, but I don't compare to the most high. Now, I need to let the whole world know who really runs this place.
[00:46:48] And if you go back to the end of the chapter here and Daniel for you, we get now his conclusion. And it seems like this time, Nebeker, there's a really learn the lesson of who God was. And it says here in verse 34, at the end of the days I Nebeker Nasr, I lifted my eyes to heaven and my reason returned to me at seven, seven periods of time.
[00:47:10] And now I get it. And I blessed the most tie. I mean, here's a guy who's been crawling around eating grass, sleeping in the grass would do all over him.
[00:47:21] He's got his hair like eagles, feathers and his nails like birds, claws.
[00:47:26] And then all of a sudden he has a moment where he worships God as the most high and praised and honored him, who lives forever for his dominion is an everlasting dominion.
[00:47:36] His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the Earth are accounted as nothing. I see that. Even myself. All of us. We are nothing before the most high. And he does, according to his will, among the host of Heaven. And among the habitants of the Earth. Gods doing whatever he wants with the angels. With us here on Earth. And none can stay his hand or say to him, what have you done?
[00:48:01] Who's going to stop God from doing what he wants to do?
[00:48:05] No one can.
[00:48:07] Verse 36, at the same time, I reason returned to me. And for the glory of my kingdom, My Majesty Splendor, it all returned to me, my counselors in my lords. They saw me and I was established in my kingdom. And still more greatness was added to me. After the seven years Nebeker Nasr, he starts to know the most tie. He starts to worship him. His kingdom is restored to him. In fact, he's saying here that his kingdom got even greater after those seven years than it was before.
[00:48:33] Now, I never canosa praise and extoll and honor the king of heaven for all his works are right. His ways are just and those who walk in pride, he is able to humble. If you don't humble yourself before God, you will be humbled by him and when we think about pride come in before the fall, we think of the fall.
[00:49:00] We use that phrase to talk about Adam and Eve falling into sin. But who were Adam and Eve? They were tempted by specifically Eve was tempted by Satan. And before Satan was down there, tempting Eve, he was where an angel in heaven. And how did he fall? Because of his pride. Turn with me to Isaiah 14, where it actually gives us this prophecy of the devil, and it actually tells us what he was thinking. Here in Isaiah, chapter 14. Verse 12. And it describes here's what it looks like.
[00:49:38] We've seen a picture of it in Daniel four. Here's another picture of it going all the way back to the beginning of Satan. Here's what it looks like when pride leads to a fall. This is Satan falling as an angel from heaven. Isaiah 14. Verse 12. Page five hundred and seventy eight. How You Are Fallen from Heaven. Oh, Daystar. Son of Dawn. How you are cut down to the ground. You who laid the nation's low. You said in your hearts. And now we're getting a glimpse into the thought process of Satan before he fell.
[00:50:15] I will ascend to heaven above the stars of God. I will set my throne on high.
[00:50:21] I will sit on the Mount of Assembly in the far reaches of the north.
[00:50:26] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.
[00:50:29] I will make myself like the most high. What's the key word in Satan's thinking?
[00:50:38] He was going to be like the most high. If you're ever looking from the roof and you ever think you're at the highest place, you will fall.
[00:50:47] That's what happened to Satan. We just read in Acts Chapter 12 about King Herod, who is getting puffed up there in Jerusalem in the time of the New Testament.
[00:50:55] He put James the apostle James, one of the three most innermost disciples of Jesus. He put James to death with the sword. Then he arrested Peter. And this was all for his own popularity. And it says there at the end of Acts 12, if you read it with us this week, that these people who didn't even like him, but they needed something from him.
[00:51:12] They were flattering him. They were giving him praise. They were saying, listen to King Herod. It's the voice of God, not of a man. And because this man did not give God the glory. He was struck down. He was eaten by worms. And he died.
[00:51:29] We got to take this to heart.
[00:51:31] We got to see that God, as opposed to the proud, but he gives grace to the humble and the way we're gonna see it as we have to have a higher view of God. We have to ask God as we walk out of here. God, will you elevate my view of you? God, will you show me who you are? How can I know you to be the most high? I don't want to learn through the painful way of experience.
[00:51:51] I don't want to be humbled. I want to be humble in my heart right now. I want to see you high and lifted up. God, how do I have this view where you are the most high? That's what we all need.
[00:52:03] Turn with me to Psalm 138. Here's a here's a song we can go meditate on. We can think about this week. And it's a song that has this exalted high view of God that will help us see ourselves as humble of before a holy and lofty God in heaven.
[00:52:23] Psalm 138. Here's David. When he has a heart after God, when he's worshiping and he says, I give you thanks so Lord, with my whole heart before the gods, I sing your pray. So I'm not going to have any idols.
[00:52:38] All those false gods. No, I'm not giving into any of that. I'm given my whole heart to you. And I'm singing your praise. There's no idols here. That's what he sang. My whole heart belongs to you. I'm not compromising with anything else. I'm coming before you. Verse two. I bowed down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name because of your steadfast love, because of how good you've been to me and your faithfulness, because you are true to what you say and you will do what you say because of that. I'm coming to worship you.
[00:53:11] I'm coming to exalt your name.
[00:53:13] For you have exalted above all things. Your name and your word. And on the day I called, you answered me. My strength of soul. You increased all the kings of the earth shall give you. Thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth. And they, the Kings shall sing of the ways of the Lord. For Great is the glory of the Lord.
[00:53:38] For though the Lord is high.
[00:53:40] Here's good news for us, though, the Lord is high. He regards the lowly. But the Hoddy he knows from afar. Here's another verse you might want to write down to meditate on this week. Isaiah 57 15. Isaiah 57 15.
[00:53:57] It says four. Thus says the one who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy, hears God speaking. Does I dwell in the high and holy place?
[00:54:09] And also with him, who is of a contrite and lowly spirit. Even though Guy is God is high and lofty and heaven. He dwells with those who are humble and lowly. Here on Earth he is near to those who are contrite. Those who are sorry about their sin. Those who are looking to him in faith. God is near to them. And God says, I will revive the spirit of the lowly to revive the heart of the contrite. If we are humble, we will be near to the high and lofty holy one. But if we are hardy, if we are proud, he will be far away from us. And then it says, if you're in Psalm 138, look at verse eight. Look at what it says here. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. Your steadfast level Lord endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. Hey, here. Here's here's what you should know. The most high. Who rules the kingdom of men. He does whatever he wills. He'll put you exactly where he wants to put you.
[00:55:14] And he he's God in heaven, and he can do whatever he pleases here on earth. Here's a promise. Here's something that's true. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. God has a plan for your life. God has a reason. He has created you for you. And that purpose will be fulfilled because he the most high is in control of all things that happen here on planet Earth. Can I get any men from anybody on this? We need to see ourselves under the most high. He is the one who is glorious. He is the one who is mighty. All good things come from him. So let us humble ourselves and let's worship the Lord right now. Let me pray. Father in Heaven. God, I pray that we will take this lesson to heart. God, I pray for everybody here this morning. God, that we will not learn this lesson of that pride comes before the fall, that we will not have to learn this the hard way. Maybe some of us already have learned this the hard way. God, I pray that we will really take your take heed if we think that we're standing in our own strength. God, let us take heed before we fall. Let us really listen to what you're saying to us through King Nebeker. Announcer Through your word this morning. And got I come to you because I confess on behalf of us all here at Compas HP that we think too highly of ourselves than we ought to think. And we need to come before you and be humbled. We need to clothe ourselves with humility towards one another and we need to humble ourselves under your mighty hand.
[00:56:53] Guy, we want to be these people that you're talking about. We want to be the lowly that you'll be near to us. We want to be the contrite. That you could revive us and give us your life and give us strength and help and show us that you care for us. God, we want to experience your power and your my working in us. And we want to give you the glory and acknowledge that everything good comes from you.
[00:57:21] So now we live in the land of proud people. And we want to be humble. God, teach us the way. Show us the way. Let us hear your word today and humble us in our hearts. Make us lowly before you. And God, please just elevate you in our minds. Let us see you as the most high. The King of heaven who does whatever he wants here on Earth, who rules over all things. God, let us see that you are glorious. You are mighty. And we're living in your kingdom. You. You are the one who gives us all life and breath and all things. And let us worship you now. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
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