The Most High God & Humility - Daniel Study - Chapter 5
A Change of the Heart
Read Daniel 4:1-3. It is wonderful to hear the testimony of people who have had lifechanging experiences through an encounter with Jesus. Life change usually involves a process. We have seen the progress of Nebuchadnezzar coming to recognize that God is Lord of all. Daniel has shared the message of Christ with him, he had interpreted an important dream, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had been miraculously delivered from the fiery furnace. These things got his attention, but not his heart. I am always amazed to see people who have been given every sign that Jesus loves them, but their hearts remain cold. Nebuchadnezzar had to hit rock bottom before he would look up. The pride in Nebuchadnezzar’s (and our) hearts runs deep; so deep that the only way we truly recognize Jesus as Lord is to hit rock bottom. Because our pride is so blinding, we must be humbled. Many of us have been just like Nebuchadnezzar. It took a rock bottom experience in order for us to truly trust Christ.
In verses 1-3, Nebuchadnezzar wrote his testimony and sent it to everyone because he wanted the whole world to know about the most high God.
“To peoples, nations, and men of every language, who live in all the world…It is my
pleasure to tell you about the wonders the Most High God has performed for me”
Share/write your testimony or a life changing experience with someone/the group.
Has God gotten such a hold of your heart that you are willing to share it with everyone? If not, what is holding you back? Is it pride, fear, shame or selfish ambition?
Whatever it may be, be brutally honest and confess it to Jesus. Then ask for the courage you need to tell others about what Jesus has done for you.
Read Daniel 4:4-37. Hitting rock bottom is always difficult. The humbling of your heart will be painful, but necessary. God may use setbacks like failures, illness or job loss so that you can be used by Him in ways you never imagined. A humble heart is one that is willing to submit to God’s plan for your life.
Let’s take a look at the process used in Nebuchadnezzar’s life.
From Comfort to Trouble
Daniel 4:4. “Nebuchadnezzar was at home in the royal palace, contented and prosperous.”
We have been misled into thinking that everyone outside of Christ is not happy. That is not true. People can enjoy life without Christ, but eternity is not about happiness, it is about truth. Nebuchadnezzar’s contentment was shaken by the hard reality of truth, that God wanted him to repent and acknowledge that He was the most high God.
From Trouble to Humility
Chapter 4, verses 5-33 is the account of God humbling Nebuchadnezzar. God gave him a dream that made him afraid and he called for the help of the wise men of Babylon who were not able to interpret the dream. Like many, Nebuchadnezzar exhausted all his worldly options for answers and only then did he turn to God. He called for Daniel who was able to interpret the dream. Daniel told him that the purpose of the dream and its fulfillment was so that Nebuchadnezzar would:
“Renounce his sins by doing what is right and your wickedness by being kind to the
oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity may continue.” 4:27
Nebuchadnezzar said that everything Daniel predicted in the dream came true. One day, Nebuchadnezzar was on the roof of the royal palace looking over the kingdom he built, gloating over his accomplishments and heard a voice from heaven saying:
“Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from your people and will live with wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the Kingdoms of men and gives to anyone He wishes.” 4:31,32
Immediately, Nebuchadnezzar lost his sanity, and he was driven from his people to eat grass like cattle. His finger nails became like the claws of a bird and his hair like the feathers of an eagle. He was in a state of insanity for a long period of time. God was working him over.
Describe a time that God has worked you over. Maybe this is your present situation. God’s end goal for you is that you would humble yourself and acknowledge His sovereign control over your life and this world. He will then use your experience to encourage others. Humility is the foundation for life transformation.
From Humility to Truth
Daniel 4:34-35. “At the end of that time, I raised my eyes toward heaven and sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified Him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does what He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to him: What have you done?”
Coaches and athletes all need a strong dose of humility! How would the world of sport be different if players and coaches knew where their talents came from and who was really in control?
I ask again, do you as a coach believe that God has dominion over your athletic field and that He will do whatever He pleases with you?
From Truth to True Prosperity
Daniel 4:36-37. Nebuchandnezzar understood that God had placed him in his position of influence for God’s glory, and he was willing to tell the world. Verse 36 says when his sanity was restored, he became even greater than before.
Why do you think his leadership was greater than before?
Let’s finish this lesson with Nebuchadnezzar’s confession of faith, which will also be our memory verse. Hopefully this is the attitude of your heart as well.
Memory Verse: 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.”
TALKING POINTS: THE MOST HIGH GOD & HUMILITY
Humility is the foundation for life transformation.
1. Why do you think Nebuchadnezzar’s leadership was better after he was humbled by God?
2. Discuss the statement: “God has dominion over your athletic field and will do with you whatever He pleases.”
3. What holds you back from sharing your faith with others?
COACH'S TESTIMONY: THE MOST HIGH GOD & HUMILITY
Jerry Moore, Head Football Coach Appalachian State University
Nic Cardwell’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment. It was 2002, and Cardwell, a senior at Robert B. Glenn (N.C.) High School, and his father were on a football recruiting trip to nearby Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. After a short wait in the lobby of the on-campus inn, a team representative—an “old guy,” as Caldwell remembers—greeted them and sat down to chat.
Thirty minutes passed, and Cardwell’s mind drifted. Finally, the older gentleman got up and said, “OK, let’s go eat.” Cardwell quickly snapped to attention. Perplexed, he blurted, “Wait a second! I haven’t met the head coach yet.”
Jerry Moore, ASU’s longtime head coach, smiled. “You just did.” Cardwell, now a senior tight end for the Mountaineers, laughs at the memory. “He didn’t get mad about it,” Cardwell said. “I had no idea I was sitting there talking to the head coach the whole time. He’s just a humble guy.” Now, there’s an understatement.
Saying Moore is humble is like saying Boone and the surrounding central Appalachian area is a quaint little nature spot. This is a man who has reached the heights of his profession. But walk a country mile with Moore, and it’s doubtful you’d hear a word about what he has achieved. In his Texas-bred twang, he’d regale you with plenty of stories of people he’s met and places he’s been—good ol’ Southern boys have a way of doing that. And at some point, he’d probably share Jesus with you, too.
But at the end of your trip, you’d part company completely unaware that you just met the two-time reigning NCAA Division IAA national championship coach and the architect of possibly the greatest upset in the history of college football.