Nebuchadnezzar seems to be a slow learner. Although he’s encountered the God of Daniel and his friends (see chapters 2 and 3), it hasn’t made a difference. Nor has the dream or Daniel’s warning in chapter 4. Why do you think this is? Can you relate?
Daniel is working directly for the king who conquered his people, yet he seems to be genuinely concerned for Nebuchadnezzar’s well-being.
- what do you think about Daniel being in such a position in a corrupt system?
- how do you think Daniel came to care for someone who destroyed his country and exiled his people?
What’s the difference between good pride and bad pride?
The solution to pride isn’t simply “be humble.” Nebuchadnezzar needs to acknowledge the givenness of the kingdom he rules (Dan 4:17, 25, 32)—that is, that God has granted it to him, even while he’s worked hard to build the kingdom and maintain his position.
- are you someone who’s more likely to take too much, or too little credit for your accomplishments?what are the things that were given to you that played a part in your successes and accomplishments?
The sermon suggested that Nebuchadnezzar’s pride results in injustice, since it’s one of the things Daniel warns him to change (Dan 4:27). It’s understandable that this happens: if Nebuchadnezzar takes all the credit for his accomplishments, then his attitude to others will be that they should work hard like he did to achieve similar results.
- Do you see this attitude (“just work harder”) in people today with regard to vulnerable people or minority groups or friends who are struggling with situations that look like the answers are simple?
Suggestions for prayer:
- that God would remind us of the things he has given us
- that God would open our eyes to the complexity of people’s lives
- that he would make us a gift to others