Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

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The Power of the Word - Part 29

He stood at his bed chamber’s window looking out over the darkened city. Although he was covered in sweat, he was chilly. He mindlessly reached for his robe and continued to stare into the night. It had happened again. It had been years since the last time, but the dread was the same. This time, however, he remembered. He didn’t know what it meant, but at least he remembered.

Sleep would not return, so he summoned his servant. The servant could barely keep his eyes open. The king could see the hidden yawns, but he decided to be merciful. He had too much on his mind to bother with reprimanding an exhausted servant. This time, at least.

Nebuchadnezzar strode down the marble hallway to the throne room. Startled guards snapped to attention as the king passed. Nebuchadnezzar noticed their startled glances, but he kept walking instead of barking at their indolence. He was on a mission and wouldn’t be distracted.

The king swept into his throne and called for a scribe. For a moment he wondered if a scribe was anywhere around. Then he heard the scuffling of feet on the marble floor, and the scribe appeared, pen at the ready.

Nebuchadnezzar issued a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should report immediately to give him an interpretation of the dream that broke his sleep. The scribe hurried off. As he watched him go, the king calculated how long it should take for the copies of the decree to be made and delivered and then for the wise men to arrive at the palace. He would have plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast.

Nebuchadnezzar had finished eating and made it back to the throne room before the first of the wise men arrived. But things did not go well.

“Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream; but they did not make known to me its interpretation.” (Daniel 4:7)

The king sat there with the vein in his forehead throbbing. He glared at the wise men willing them to tell him what the troubling dream meant. He could see in their eyes, though, that they didn’t have a clue. Nebuchadnezzar could feel his anger rising. The last time this happened, he decreed that every wise man should be killed for not doing what he paid them to do by telling him about the dream of the statue. (Daniel 2) The only person who had come through back then was Daniel. Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar’s eyes scanned the crowd in front of him.

Daniel was not there. Where was he? As the king turned to his scribe to issue another decree to find Daniel and bring him to the palace, the throne room doors opened.

“But at last Daniel came before me (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; in him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying: ‘Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.’” (Daniel 4:8-9)

Nebuchadnezzar told Daniel about a great tree he saw. The tree grew tall and reached to the heavens. It was full of fruit and had many branches that created wonderful shade. Birds and creatures alike were fed by and made their home in or under the tree. It was so beautiful.

But then the scene changed. Nebuchadnezzar said he saw a holy one come down from heaven and proclaim that the tree should be cut down, the branches cut off, the leaves stripped, and the fruit scattered. It would no longer be a place of habitation for the birds and creatures. However, the stump would be left, along with its roots. It would be bound by iron and bronze and be subject to the dew that fell every night.

Even stranger still, Nebuchadnezzar continued, he heard the holy one say:

“Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, And let him graze with the beasts On the grass of the earth. Let his heart be changed from that of a man, Let him be given the heart of a beast, And let seven times pass over him. This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.” (Daniel 4:15-17)

Nebuchadnezzar paused and sat back. He saw the scared faces of the wise men as they listed again to the dream. He realized that they felt the same dread he did, but they didn’t understand why either. He looked at Daniel. What a contrast! Daniel was perfectly calm. That was one of the things the king liked the most about Daniel.

“'This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.’” (Daniel 4:18)

All eyes in the room shifted from the king to Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar saw that Daniel didn’t even notice the attention that was turned on him. He stood there in perfect silence with his eyes closed and head bowed slightly. He must be talking to his God, Nebuchadnezzar thought.

Slowly a look of concern emerged on Daniel’s face. The king became worried. This was so unlike Daniel. He must know the meaning of the dream. The king tried to reassure him.

“'Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you.’ Belteshazzar answered and said, ‘My lord, may the dream concern those who hate you, and its interpretation concern your enemies!’” (Daniel 4:19)

The crowd gasped. Now Nebuchadnezzar was concerned. The meaning must be bad. He sat up straight in the throne to regain command of the situation and nodded to Daniel to continue.

Daniel explained that Nebuchadnezzar was the tree. The beauty and strength of the tree represented the vast domain of Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. The king nodded. That made sense.

Daniel’s face saddened as he continued with the dream’s interpretation of the chopping down of the tree:

“'This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.’” (Daniel 4:24-27)

As it had happened before, Nebuchadnezzar focused on the most flattering part of the dream. He was the magnificent tree that reached to the heavens and sustained all over which the tree ruled.

Months went by, and with the passing of time, Nebuchadnezzar forgot about the dream. But God did not.

One year later, Nebuchadnezzar found himself walking around the palace. It was a gorgeous day. The sky was a clear blue. The sunshine illuminated everything around. The king marveled at the beauty of the city.

“The king spoke, saying, 'Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’ While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!’” (Daniel 4:30-31)

And that was the last he remembered for seven years. During that time, he was no more than a wild animal. He couldn’t be contained. He lived in the wilderness, his mind gone, his hair like a lion’s mane, and his nails like eagle talons.

Then at the end of the seven years, precisely as the Word of God said, it was over.

“And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever. . . . Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.” (Daniel 4:34 and 37)

The stubborn, rebellious king was home at last. His true home in the family of God.

This story shows us just how far God will go to reach our hearts. God loved Nebuchadnezzar. Yes, the brutal king of Babylon was loved by God. God saw him as he could be, not just for what he was. God came after Nebuchadnezzar time and time again through dreams and through the interactions with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-Nego. Each time the message got a little stronger because God wanted Nebuchadnezzar’s attention and heart. The prophecy that came through God’s Word came true. And, finally, Nebuchadnezzar stopped running and embraced the God Who loved him. God wants to do the same for you.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

This is why Binding Broken Hearts is passionate about getting God’s Word into prisons and into the hands of inmates who so desperately need to know that through the power of the Word, they can become new creations no matter how long they have run from God. Because these are men and women who need Jesus most.

Perhaps you want to help spread the power of His Word to an inmate who desperately needs its power. If so, please consider becoming a financial partner with us. Click here to see how you can help.

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