Daniel 4:1-37  Insomnia, Insanity and God!


Intro: One of my favorite nights of the year is coming up in a few weeks – November 26th – Thanks. Eve

A) Great night of music and worship – but the highlight is – testimonies


B) God has done to change a life – bring hope – help thru a trial – great time of refreshing and blessing


C) Well tonight we get to hear a great testimony

1) Maybe one of the most remarkable ever uttered


D) Testimony of a Powerful King – who was brought low stripped of all – but found God in the process!


Story of Neb’s Conversion!

A) I fully agree with Chuck Swindol’s take – that this is a looking back Testimony


B) V.1-3 and V.37 are in the present tense – intro and close –

1) V.4-36 He is looking back on what happened to him!


C) He starts off like many testimonies do giving praise to God for what He has done!


  RD V.1-7    note The Dream v.4-18


V.4 No internal problems/ external opposition

Now this sounds like Déjà vu from Ch. 2 accept this time Neb is not demanding they tell him the dream

A) This time around he just wants the interpretation


B) But once again he goes to the Wise men of Babylon to tell him the interpretation.

1) Why does he keep going to these guys?



1) Looks bad on their DEITIES if Daniel’s God is always the one Shinning!


D) Neb is not convinced Yet!


E) But notice the wise men don’t have an answer

1) Scared of being wrong!


                  RD V.8 -9


Neb sort of reluctantly calls for Daniel –


Phrase: In him is the Spirit of the Holy God

A) That was Neb’s title for Daniel’s God –


B) Holy = set apart – or different – Neb – seems to acknowledge there is a uniqueness to Daniel’s God


C) But he is not yet sold on that he is the Most High God – at this point


                           RDV 10-18

Now does this mean that we shouldn’t vote or care about who is president?

A) No voting is a right and privilege that we have in this country.


B) Voting ALSO reveals the heart of a nation – Vote – Pocketbook Or Principles Of Bible?

1) Popular Opinion Or Biblical Standard? {Clinton


C) How we vote reveals our hearts – and God Knows our hearts!


D) This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t vote – but it reminds us – that no matter what the outcome – we need to trust that God is in control.


E) He always has a greater plan and purpose!


The Interpretation    RD V.19-25


So Daniel gives the interpretation – that a time is coming Neb when you are going to be driven from your palace out into the fields {tree to stump

A) Going to go insane – be like a beast – for 7yrs


B) Until you realize that the Most High God rules in the earth! {He is the ONE TRUE GOD!


C) Interesting Psychology has a name for this type of behavior – Anthropology is the study of all things human.

Lycanthropy – Lycan = wolf – anthropology = man

Lycanthropy- Wolf man!


Avianthropy – Bird man.


Zooanthropy – animal man.


Boanthropy – Cowman { Cross with Bird man


The biblical scholar R.K. Harrison recounted this personal experience:

"A great many doctors spend an entire, busy professional career without once encountering an instance of the kind of thing described in the book of Daniel. The present writer, therefore, considers himself particularly fortunate to have actually observed a clinical case of [Boanthropy] in a British mental institution in 1946. The patient was in his early 20's, who reportedly had been hospitalized for about five years.


His symptoms were well developed on admission, and diagnosis was immediate and conclusive.


He was of average height and weight with good physique, and was in excellent bodily health. His mental symptoms included pronounced anti-social tendencies, and because of this he spent the entire day from dawn to dusk outdoors, in the grounds of the institution....


"His daily routine consisted of wandering around the magnificent lawns with which the otherwise dingy hospital situation was graced, and it was his custom to pluck up and eat handfuls of the grass as he went along.



On observation he was seen to discriminate carefully between grass and weeds, and on inquiry from the attendant, the writer was told the diet of this patient consisted exclusively of grass from hospital lawns. He never ate institutional food with other inmates, and his only drink was water....


"The writer was able to examine him cursorily, and the only physical abnormality noted consisted of a lengthening of the hair and a coarse, thickened condition of the finger-nails. Without institutional care, the patient would have manifested precisely the same physical conditions as those mentioned in Daniel 4:33"


This is what happened to Neb – not Demon possession – but Divine Judgment!

A) But in the midst of the Divine Judgment God also displayed an array or Grace!


26 "And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules.


B) Daniel says – 7yrs of living like this – God is going to preserve your Kingdom –

1) No one is going to usurp your authority – over throw


C) I am sure that those in his kingdom kept thinking any day he is going to snap out of it!


D) God was after Neb’s heart!

V.27 Daniel offers a timely word of advice!

27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity."



Now you would think that everything that Neb has experienced thus far with Daniel and his friends – he would at this point fall on his knees and repent

A) He doesn’t do that – NO RESPONSE AT ALL IS RECORDED!


Aa) “I am sure he was thinking – hey Daniel’s first interpretation hasn’t happened”


B)”I haven’t been overthrown – my Kingdom’s power and prosperity and property – places I rule has only grown.” {Which actually was a fulfillment – head of gold


C) “I will worry about this later!”


Nebuchadnezzar Is Put Out To Pasture. V.28-36


28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon.


God gives Neb 1 yr to repent - - He doesn’t!

                                                                RD V.30-36

Amazing that after his reason had returned that he not only gained his former glory but he surpassed it as well!

A) His counselors were once again coming and seeking his wisdom and counsel on matters


B) So that is how Neb came to believe and follow the most High God – Jehovah.


C) End of his testimony – V.37 – speaking back in the present tense


37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.


Insight from Ray Pritchard

“Before this experience Nebuchadnezzar would have said that the greatest moment of his life was some great military achievement or some massive construction project. But afterwards he would look back and say the greatest moment was when he came to his senses and began to give God glory. In his mind the seven years wouldn’t matter because they would seem a small price to pay in order to see God truly and clearly.”


Good test for whether or not you have grown through the disciplines of life.

A) Can you look back without regret and thank God for what you have learned even though the cost to you was very great?


B) I don’t think Nebuchadnezzar felt embarrassed about his seven years of insanity.

1) If he had, he wouldn’t have written the story down for the whole world to know.


C) You can know that you have made a spiritual breakthrough when you can tell your own story without feeling a need either to embellish or to cover up the negative aspects.


Lessons of this Story:


1. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled.

                               1 Peter 5:6-7

"God resists the proud,

But gives grace to the humble."


“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”


Neb’s pride was seen in the fact that he thought all he accomplished was because of him!

A) Pride is a kind of plagiarism. It attempts to grasp for ourselves the glory which belongs to another.

B) Nebuchadnezzar took all the glory for the greatness of his kingdom; he did not give glory to God.


C) In effect, he began to set himself in the seat of God, reminiscent of other glory-seeking creatures, including Satan himself (see Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28).


Taking glory which does not belong to us causes us to see ourselves as better than others.

A) Pride ignores and denies the truth that prosperity comes from God, as a gift of His grace, and not the reward for our greatness.


B) Pride also interprets others’ poverty as proof of inferiority and the penalty for inferiority



2. Reminds us that God is AFTER man’s heart! 

A) All that happens to the king will be done not for his ultimate destruction, but for his Salvation & restoration.


B) Jonah it was a Whale – Neb – becomes like a beast


C) God’s judgment is painful because he is cutting away the sin that pulls us away from him.

Let’s suppose you feel strange pains in your body so you decide to see a doctor. He runs a few tests and says, "I’m sorry you’ve got cancer.


But we can do surgery to remove the cancer." So you say, "I don’t want the surgery. – Hurt too much!

"If we don’t do the surgery, you’ll die," replies the doctor.  Only way to live is to endure the pain!

So too God’s disciplinary judgment is rarely easy and never painless.

A) In Nebuchadnezzar’s case, it was utterly devastating and totally humiliating.


B) Sometimes God has to prune the tree down in order to save it.

1) But that cutting process may go on for many months and it may be done in a most public fashion.


C) But ultimately God’s heart is to save / to bless / to restore -


3. God’s discipline lasts until we learn the lessons He wants to teach us.
A) I am sure some of you feel as if God is shaking their tree right now.


B) And you want to know how long it will last. The only possible answer is, I don’t know.


C) The trials of life are ordained by the Lord for our benefit. -He alone knows when they will begin and end.


D) But of this much I am sure. God will never shake your tree one moment longer than necessary.

1) And he will never stop one second before his divine purpose in your life has been accomplished.
So if you find yourself in a hard and uncertain place, and if you long for days of contentment and peace, be patient.

A) Wait on the Lord. Don’t run ahead of God.


B) And don’t waste time telling him how to do his Job!


Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and in due time he will lift you up.


4. Worship is man’s highest calling, setting him apart from the beasts of the field and giving him the basis for sanity.

A) If the king’s self-congratulations were the cause of his humiliation,


B) His worship was the turning point for the return of his sanity and his restoration to power.


C) Worship is man’s highest calling. It sets men apart from the beasts.


D) Worship sees God for who He is and man for who he is, and thus life as it truly is.


Worship is the foundation for sanity.

A) Romans 12:1 Paul called it our REASONABLE SERVICE.



B) When men failed to worship God, they began their fall and became no better than the beasts.

(Romans 1:18-32).


C) Worship is the way to wisdom, because it humbles us and exalts God.


5. Authority is not a position of status but a place of service.

A) Men seek to rise to positions of power and authority so that others under them might serve them.


B) So it was with Nebuchadnezzar.  Nebuchadnezzar failed to grasp the purpose for his kingdom in the divine economy.


C) He looked at his kingdom in terms of how well it promoted and displayed his own power and glory, not in terms of the purpose for which God had ordained it.


D) God places men in authority so that they may serve those under them.

Leadership is not characterized by status but by service and self-sacrifice.


Our Lord exercised authority in this way, and it should be the way of his followers:

A) Power is a gift of grace, not a reward for merit. It is given to make men strong so they may serve the weak. Power is never given to inflate the ego of one who is divinely strengthened or enabled

A) Every Christian is divinely empowered with a spiritual gift or gifts or responsibility to serve others,


B) And by serving others we are ultimately serving our Lord.

None should be prideful and glory in his gift because of the abilities God has given.


C) Rather, we should be grateful, humble, and alert for opportunities to use our strengths to minister to those who are weak.


6. Our worship is directly related to our witness.

A) Nebuchadnezzar’s personal testimony was given to give glory to God!


B) Witnessing should be to the praise and glory of God.

1) It should be an act of worship


C) Too many people share their faith only as a duty and not as a delight.

1) Their witness is not the overflow of a grateful heart, done as to the Lord, but a painful duty.


D) We should learn how to worship and witness from this Babylonian king.



7. Sooner or later, all mankind will be humbled before God and acknowledge His sovereignty. A) Nebuchadnezzar bowed before God after seven years of humiliation.


B) He became a worshipper of the One true God. He will continue to worship and serve God for all eternity.


C) What Nebuchadnezzar did many years ago, every man and woman will do in the future.


D) All mankind will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.