I have been reading a little bit in a devotional by Paul Tripp. He shared some thoughts from the story of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4. That led me to read more of the story. As a result, Daniel 4:25 grabbed my attention. It reads:
…that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.
Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful person in the world in Daniel 4. But like any of us could, he had gotten a little big for his britches. He began to conclude that he was the impressive one who had accomplished so much. What he forgot, and honestly, what we can easily forget is that God is the One who gives parts of the kingdom of men to people. Some people may get a bigger slice of that pie like Nebuchadnezzar did. Or it may be a much smaller piece like what the vast majority of people throughout history receive, including us.
The danger of pride displayed in Nebuchadnezzar, and lurking to knock at our doors, is the temptation to conclude that there is something special about us; that we achieved and accomplished, that we have made a name for ourselves, that people should be impressed by us because of all that we have attained. Pride seems so desirable, but it is so far out of step with reality and history. Romans 3:23 reminds us that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are not at the level of the Most High. We need to be rescued from our accomplishments and achievements of sin. In His grace, God offers us His rescue and then invites us to serve and receive a slice of that pie of His kingdom. Paul Tripp underlined for me that when I consider that, I can go from pride to a place of confidence. Confidence that comes from being in the presence of the Powerful One who gives. Pride is an attempt to puff us up. Confidence is a gift that God gives to His family. I so want to live in confidence. Let’s rejoice together that God gives us that gift in the Lord Jesus.