“In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven. He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. “‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him. “‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’ Daniel 4:13-17 (NIV).
The pleasant dream has turned unpleasant. We’ve all had dreams that turn into nightmares. My nightmares, or at least the ones I remember, have usually been dreadful, not good turning bad. They’ve always been foreboding and building on that throughout. Maybe Nebuchadnezzar was like me, or I’m like him, because maybe a pleasant dream turning bad was how he knew this dream was different.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise because God had already laid out a high-level blueprint of things to come. Jeremiah foretells both Nebuchadnezzar and his throne, and his prophecy was made public not long before Nebuchadnezzar actually did overthrow Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was a part of the chain of events that fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy. He would rule, then his son and grandson would rule afterwards, then Babylon itself would fall. These are all things that, at the time of today’s verses, were only partly understood.
Along the way, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that he fears means something terrible is going to happen to him. There’s good reason for it when the angels in the dream say, “let his mind be changed.” It’s why he calls for Daniel. There seems to be hope in that the time of the king’s insanity appears to be limited; it will only last “till seven times pass by for him.” But where and when that would happen Nebuchadnezzar could only speculate. He was scared.
Are you ever troubled by dreams? Do you ever sense a divine message through them? Maybe God is trying to tell you something. Dive into His word and learn more so that you might better see His purpose in the visions.
For further reading: Deuteronomy 33:2, Job 24:20, Psalm 83:18, Jeremiah 27:5-7, Ezekiel 31:12, Matthew 3:10, Romans 13:1, Daniel 4:18
My Lord, help me to understand Your messages.
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