When that period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me. I blessed the Most High, and praised and honoured the one who lives for ever. For his sovereignty is an everlasting sovereignty, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does what he wills with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What are you doing?’ At that time my reason returned to me; and my majesty and splendour were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom. My counsellors and my lords sought me out, I was re-established over my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, for all his works are truth, and his ways are justice; and he is able to bring low those who walk in pride.
So we begin this passage with Nebuchadnezzar coming to his senses and recognising that God is everlasting and all enduring. God is constant in a world that is always changing.
I think Nebuchadnezzar, having been on a journey where he realises that the God of Daniel and the Israelites is “the God of power and creation” is life changing, recognises that God loves him and has a plan for him. God loves him no more and no less than anyone else. Nebuchadnezzar has a position whereby he can affect change as the king and therefore he is called by God to exercise that power not for his own glorification but for the raising up of others, for the breaking of injustice and the speaking of truth to power.
Nebuchadnezzar is in a position where he can affect changes for the good of all and to the glory of God. We are called to affect change for the good of all creation within our own means. As I write this, we have had two weeks of protests in London, which appear to have had an effect to a point. An environmental crisis has been declared by Parliament but declaring a crisis and doing something about it are different things. We now have to see what the Government will do having declared the crisis.
There is an element of reminding us that Nebuchadnezzar was prideful and that he was brought low, but he was reinstated to his position to bring changes for the better to his country. Pride for self can be dangerous, but pride in others, pride in good work, pride in a cause for justice can actually motivate us for the right reasons, but must be tempered with humility and remembering that we are called by God to build God’s now and not yet kin-dom of justice and equity.
Constant God the world around us is always changing yet you remain the same. You call us all to be your children working for justice and peace. Help us to be as Nebuchadnezzar when his reason returned, to see what needs to be done and to do it for the good of the whole world and always to your glory, giving back to you everything you bless us with. Amen
Kirsty-Ann Mabbott, Church Related Community Worker at Ansty Road URC & St Columba’s URC, Coventry