What is a person who eats grass like cattle, has hair like eagles’ feather, and has nails like a birds’ claws? The answer is King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:33. That doesn’t sound a description of a typical king, but King Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t a typical king. He might have been like some kings in that he accomplished many great things. He was different than most kings, because he had conquered the Israelites who were God’s chosen people and now ruled over them.
God had given King Nebuchadnezzar his great power, but King Nebuchadnezzar didn’t acknowledge God’s control. He was prideful of his accomplishments. God showed King Nebuchadnezzar His power by giving strength to Daniel and his friends. God showed His power by sharing with Daniel the meaning of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. God demonstrated His power when He saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fire. Even with all the demonstrations of God’s power, King Nebuchadnezzar was still proud of all that he had done.
God warned the King through his dreams, but he didn’t change. So God changed King Nebuchadnezzar into a crazy man. I have no clue how you can go so crazy, that your body grows hair like feathers. If that had happened to me, I would do everything in my power to find a better situation, and I would be telling others about the danger of pride to prevent it from happening to others.
Within the lifespan of Daniel, a descendant of King Nebuchadnezzar comes into power. King Belshazzar doesn’t learn from the past and is prideful. So prideful that he hosts a party using vessels (cups) from the Temple of God. While at this party, what looked like a human hand appeared and wrote on the wall words that they did not understand. Daniel was brought in to offer an interpretation. Daniel reminded King Belshazzar of the experiences of King Nebuchadnezzar and told the king that his kingdom was coming to an end.
Within two verses and in the same evening, Belshazzar was slain. He didn’t receive a year to change. He didn’t get to be crazy and change. He just died.
Belshazzar was killed for the very same pride that his ancestor had to suffer by becoming like an animal. He didn’t learn from the past.
It is easy for us to see this connection, because these stories are only a chapter apart. But given the time element, I wonder if any of us would have fallen in the same trap.
What learning opportunities have we ignored, because they seem like just stories in the past?
In the comment section, I would love to hear of stories that you wished you have learned.
This week to pay attention to other’s stories and look for lessons you can learn.