October 27, 2019

DANIEL  4: Glow Worms & Grass
October 27, 2019
Charles Billingsley


Our lives are full of choices—and most of them are concerned with how we can make life easier, more fun, or more interesting for ourselves, right? Do you ever struggle with the fear that you are being selfish, as in, always wanting “your way”? Can you share?


As we study the Old Testament book of Daniel, we get enthralled with the craziness of the life of the king of Babylon, where Daniel and his three friends were taken as captives. King Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon for over forty years, twenty five of which had Daniel as one of his cabinet. As chapter four of Daniel is concluded, the king saw Daniel’s God as the One, True God, against Whom he had greatly sinned.

Focal Passage: Daniel 4:1-37

Key Verse: Mark 8:36:For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

The Patient Heart of God: Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation

  • Read Dan. 2:46-47 and 3:28-29. What had King Nebuchadnezzar observed about the God of Daniel and his Jewish friends in these chapters?
  • Daniel has now been a wise man for the king for about twenty-five years. Can someone please summarize the events in Daniel 4:4-10, someone else tell of the dream in verses 11-14, and someone else summarize vv.15-18? What is significant about the change of subject in verse 15?
  • Read verse 19. How does Daniel react when he hears the dream? Why does it affect him so greatly? Someone please summarize the forewarning that God has given the king.
  • Read verse 27. What warning does Daniel himself give the king?

The  Sovereign Power of God

  • Read Daniel 4:27-28. What was the sin that the king has to be broken over?
  • Read (around the room): Proverbs 16:18; 16:5a; 15:25a; and 6:16. What does God think about pride? Who was the cause of the king’s humiliation?
  • Read Jeremiah 22:25. Nebuchadnezzar probably never heard of Jeremiah, the Judean prophet. How did Jeremiah’s prophecy reinforce the sovereignty of God? What about Proverbs 21:1?

The Restoring Hand of God

  • Read Dan. 4:34, 36-37. What was the pivotal act that brought an end to the king’s trial? How did he respond?
  • How does verse 37 differ from the proclamations he had made after Daniel had averted the killing of the wise men by interpreting the dream in Chapter 2, as well as the end of Chapter 3, with the Fiery Furnace?
  • How could Nebuchadnezzar have avoided such a seven-year disaster? Was God being fair, to have attempted to show him through Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, as well as Daniel warning him?

Take Aways

  • The patient heart of God—God is patient, but will do what He needs to do to humble us.
  • The sovereign power of God—God is Sovereign—and will do what He needs to do for us to recognize this.
  • The restoring Hand of God—God is a redeeming God, and will restore us if we humble ourselves before Him.

The battle you are facing is ultimately between who you want to be and who Creator God wants you to be.


Pride is simple to define: it is our will for our life fighting against God’s will. We can usually spot it instantly in someone else—but recognizing it in ourselves is hard for us to see, and harder still to take authority over.

Nebuchadnezzar had built a huge city with superlatives on every side. He had a “right” to feel a healthy pride in what he had achieved. However, rather than giving the glory to the only true God, he took the praise for himself. Over a period of several years God tried to get his attention, to no avail. Finally, after a fearful dream, Nebuchadnezzar called in Daniel. Daniel instantly knew God was about to bring the king to his knees, and issued a passionate, final warning of disaster coming. One year later, the king became as a cow in a field, eating grass for a meal.

When is the last time God tried to get your attention for a sin that you refuse to acknowledge? Does it frighten you that there will be an eventual cutting off of the grace that you take so lightly? Don’t let it go on until God has to take drastic action: repent, turn from the sin, and if it enters your mind afterward, take those thoughts captive! David wrote, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise!” (Psalm 51:17).