Daniel 4:37 (ESV) … “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”
King Nebuchadnezzar gave joyful witness to all peoples of the marvelous grace of God (Dan. 4:1–3). In this preamble to the official account of his experience, the king extolled God’s mighty wonders and His eternal kingdom, and he boldly announced that God had done great signs and wonders on his behalf.
How different from Pharaoh’s response to what the Lord did in Egypt! Instead of obeying the Word given by Moses, Pharaoh saw God’s power demonstrated in the plagues and continued to resist the Lord. He arrogantly declared, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go” (Ex. 5:2). As a result of his rebellion, his country was ruined, thousands of people died, and Israel was still delivered from his power! When God isn’t permitted to rule, He overrules and accomplishes His divine purposes for His glory.
What was the result of this “conversion” experience for King Nebuchadnezzar? God not only restored the king’s reason and removed the beastly heart and mind, but He also graciously restored the king’s honor and splendor and gave him back his throne! He testified that he “became even greater than before” (Dan. 4:36). Where sin had abounded, grace abounded even more (Rom. 5:20). Instead of boasting about his own accomplishments, Nebuchadnezzar said, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven” (Dan. 4:37).
He closed his official statement with a word of warning based on the lessons the Lord had taught him: “Those that walk in pride, he [God] is able to abase” (v. 37). The world today doesn’t think that pride is a wicked and dangerous sin, but instead practices flattery and exaggeration and exalts the words and the works of the “successful people” of the day. Some of them lack moral character, but as long as they are achievers, they get worldwide attention in the media. One day, the Lord will come in judgment, and His promise is this: “I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless” (Isa. 13:11, niv).
Our Lord has the last word: “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt. 23:12, niv).