Lessons from Daniel 4 about God’s Sovereignty part 4

3 Nov

The person who loves God needs to love what God loves, to be passionate about what God’s passionate about. Daniel 4 tells us God wants people to know that He’s king. Therefore, if we love God, so should we.

But there’s something you need to understand, fourth – truly acknowledging God’s sovereignty is more than just a verbal thing.

Don’t think that just because you understand what God’s sovereignty means and that you can explain it to your friends, that you necessarily have truly acknowledged it. Truly acknowledging God’s sovereignty requires a revolution in the way you live your life. God wanted more than verbal assent from Nebuchadnezzar, God wanted repentance.

I think we can easily be confused by this story and miss it’s impact by failing to really understand what is at the heart of Nebuchadnezzar’s problem.

Throughout this chapter we see that Nebuchadnezzar is going to be judged by God because He failed to recognize God’s sovereignty. But what does that mean? What does it mean to fail to recognize God’s sovereignty?

We can better understand the reason Nebuchadnezzar was being judged if we pay attention to the solution Daniel offers.

You see, Daniel pleads with the king in verse 27, “Therefore O King, may my advice be pleasing to you, break away 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.”

There’s hope if you repent.

You’ve got to recognize God’s sovereignty – and you know what proves you truly recognize God’s sovereignty – you repent, and you start obeying God’s commands.

That’s a significant statement.

Nebuchadnezzar’s problem is he doesn’t recognize that God is sovereign, yet when offering a solution Daniel does not say, “Here’s what you do king, just say that God is ruler over all mankind. Just say that God is sovereign. That will get you off the hook.”

Just because you understand what the Bible means when it says that God is sovereign doesn’t mean that you really recognize God’s sovereignty in your everyday life.

If you notice, Nebuchadnezzar before chapter 4, before this humiliation, he already understood a lot. He confesses in chapter 2:47 that the God of Daniel is a God of gods and a Lord of kings. He even gets to the point in Daniel 3 where he cries out, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him…Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego shall be torn from limb to limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no god who is able to deliver in this way.” That’s a testament to the sovereignty of God.

Nebuchadnezzar’s problem wasn’t so much intellectual, his primary problem was moral.

That’s why Daniel cries out to him to repent.

You see the fact that Nebuchadnezzar was committed to his sin, that was proof that in spite of all his claims, he didn’t really see God as the Sovereign King.

Now we’re really getting to the heart of why people hate the sovereignty of God. The primary problem isn’t intellectual; it’s moral. People are pretty much fine with saying that there is a God. People are pretty much fine with saying that He’s important. People are even pretty much fine with saying He’s involved in what goes on in this universe. But people are not even close to fine with saying that because God is King it means I’m not; and it’s my job to obey Him.

Recognizing the sovereignty of God is not just parroting back the right words about how God is in charge; recognizing the sovereignty of God is submitting your life to His control.

This is not this nice little truth far removed from every day life; but instead a truth that must be understood and accepted if you are even going to begin to understand the nature of life itself. You can’t put the sovereignty of God up in this little attic of your mind, where you put all the other truths you don’t know what to do with. Properly understood the sovereignty of God will radically affect the way you think about and live your life.

One Response to “Lessons from Daniel 4 about God’s Sovereignty part 4”

  1. Tommie November 4, 2010 at 5:04 am #

    The money qoute
    “ Recognizing the sovereignty of God is not just parroting back the right words about how God is in charge; recognizing the sovereignty of God is submitting your life to His control.”

    Really enjoying these post thank Josh.

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