Monday, October 17, 2011

Eat Some Grass!

The root of all sin - PRIDE - can reduce each of us to eating grass.  Grass? you ask.  GRASS.

King Nebuchadnezzar ate some serious grass.  He was one of the most powerful rulers in all of the world.  God gave him control of Babylon in 605 B.C.  The king was responsible for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, conquering of other nations, and a prosperous, imposing kingdom.  In Daniel 5:18-19, Daniel reminds King Darius of King Nebuchadnezzar's status:

 . . . the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor.  Because of the high position He gave him, all the peoples and nations and men of every language dreaded and feared him.  Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death; those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled.

Nebbie was a powerful man but only through God's hand.  Daniel 1:2 says that God gave Nebbie victory over Judah and even allowed him to take precious, sacred articles from the Temple of God.  The entire book of Daniel proves God's control, His power, His "running of things".   Through the first few chapters, King Nebuchadnezzar refuses to lay down his pride and will and admit the sovereignty of the True God.

Even after several warnings, the king continues to boast of his own accomplishments.  He even says, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?" (4:30).  God's action is swift and immediate.  Nebbie is removed from his crown, his position, his people.  He is driven into the fields and eats grass like a cow, has hair as long as eagles' feathers and his nails are like birds' claws.  Nebuchadnezzar is insane for seven periods of time.

Now, I don't know about you, but I can not imagine a slice of Pride Pie being worth all that.  Wandering around a field munching on grass acting like a cow?  Separated from people, things, and most importantly, sanity? 

I have never had to partake of a grassy cuisine due to an inflated sense of self.  However (and that is a BIG however), God has reached me in other ways.  Many times friendships I held too dear to my heart were removed from my life.  Maybe I was placing too much importance on the friendship and pleasing the friend instead of HIM.  Other times responsibilities and positions I coveted were removed or never given because I had a desire to "do it all and for my own glory".  Not HIS glory but my own pitiful self.  Another time, I suffered physically because I was unwilling to slow down and seek HIS will first.  Or other instances where I just KNEW that I could do whatever it was under my own gumption, strength, ability, and desire.  You know how that ended, right?
The list could go on and on.  The point is if we act like a donkey's behind and revel in pride and self, then God may allow us to eat some kind of humbling "grass" to remind us of His desire to instruct and train us (Psalm 32:8-9).  If we can adjust our attitude of one that is humble and seek HIS kingdom and righteousness first the unnecessary pain and judgement of HIS correction can be minimized.

Be hopeful!  King Nebbie looked up to heaven, his sanity returned and He praised and worshipped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever.  When the king's ability to recognize the power and sovereignty of the Lord returned, so did his honor and glory and kingdom.

We, too, can return from the grass-filled pasture.  Turn our eyes off of our selves and look to HIM.  Remove whatever crown Pride is wearing in our lives and allow the true King to sit on the throne of our hearts.

"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven.  All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble those who are proud." Daniel 4:37

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