Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

March 28, 1905

Nebuchadnezzar's Humiliation

For many months after Nebuchadnezzar's dream in regard to his humiliation, his position was unaltered. The judgment of God lingered. The king lost confidence in the dream, and regarded it as a delusion. More proud and haughty than ever, he jested at his former fears.

About a year after the king had received the divine warning, he was walking in his palace, and thinking with pride of his power as the ruler of the greatest universal kingdom, when he exclaimed, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?”

The proud boast had scarcely left his lips when a voice from heaven announced to him that God's appointed time of judgment had come. Upon his ears fell the mandate of the Almighty: “O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”

In a moment Nebuchadnezzar's reason was taken away, and he was placed on a level with the beasts of the field. “He was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.”

As the beasts have no knowledge of God, and therefore do not acknowledge his sovereignty, so Nebuchadnezzar had been unmindful of God and his mercies. Prosperity and popularity had led him to feel independent of God, and to use for his own glory the talent of reason that God had entrusted to him. Messages of warning were sent to him, but he heeded them not. The heavenly Watcher took cognizance of the king's spirit and actions, and in a moment stripped the proud boaster of all that his Creator had given him.

Nebuchadnezzar did not profit by the warnings he received. Only through severest discipline did he learn the lesson that the Lord, and not man, is ruler, and that God's kingdom endures forever. Only after passing through long years of humiliation did the king of Babylon learn that it was not his scepter, but the scepter of him whose kingdom is everlasting, that held supreme sway over the affairs of the nations.

Man may lift himself up in pride and boast of his power, but in an instant God can bring him to nothingness. It is Satan's work to lead men to glorify themselves with their entrusted talents. Every man through whom God works will have to learn that the living, ever-present, ever-acting God is supreme, and has lent him talents to use,—an intellect to originate; a heart to be the seat of his throne; affections to flow out in blessing to all with whom he shall come in contact; a conscience through which the Holy Spirit can convict him of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.

God is infinitely holy, and he hates every species of iniquity. He is great in power, and he will punish the mightiest with the most depraved. He first gives to transgressors oft-repeated warnings. If the heart is hardened, if it refuses to heed the warnings given, and to accept the means of salvation, God will make men feel that as he has exalted and favored them, so he has to do with their casting down. When God has forsaken those whom he has highly favored, no earthly power can avail. God is long-suffering, not willing that any should perish; but his forbearance has a limit, and when the boundary is passed, there is no second probation. His wrath will go forth, and he will destroy without remedy.

Mrs. E. G. White

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