I'm lingering over the book None Like Him by Jen Wilkin. I tend to linger over books that I really like, particularly books that teach me so much about the Lord and life. Simply Tuesday was the last book that I lingered over, and None Like Him has taken its place. Both of these books have taught me a lot about the kingdom of God.
What I appreciate about None Like Him is that Jen Wilkin takes things that I know about the Lord in an abstract way and clarifies them with words. In one particular chapter, she focuses on God's self-existence, basically how God has always existed by himself. In this particular chapter, she focuses on the story of King Nebuchadnezzar found in Daniel 4:
By the hand of the Lord, Nebuchadnezzar rises to great power as King of Babylon. One day as he walks on his palace rooftop looking out over his kingdom, his creator complex is exposed: "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty? (Dan. 4:30)." p. 48-49
Nebuchadnezzar is made King of Babylon by God, but he takes the glory for himself. How does God respond?
While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you,until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws.
Daniel 4: 31-33
Nebuchadnezzar is humbled, driven to madness and forced to live like an animal with wild hair and long nails. All of this because Nebuchadnezzar glorified himself instead of glorifying "the Most High that rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will." Ouch. There is good news for Nebuchadnezzar though:
At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,
for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”
At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. 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.
In order to seek the kingdom, we need to know and understand the king of the kingdom that we seek. In seeking God's kingdom, we're seeking a king that is the Most High and rules the kingdom of men. We learn that "his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation (Dan 4:34)." We see what happens when someone thinks he can take the place of this king - humiliation and ruin.
What are things that we can take away from Daniel 4:
Knowing and understanding these facts will impact the rest of our time in this series. But as we continue on this journey, we will see that God's kingdom is also being established in the hearts of those that put their faith in His Son, who is "given dominion, glory, and a kingdom that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him (Dan 5:14)."
Join me tomorrow as we look at how God's kingdom being the only kingdom that will endure and last forever impacts us.
This post is part of a 31 day series called Seeking the Kingdom.
You can view the rest of the posts from the series here.
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