The Beast Inside
The Bible is filled with remarks about the inner man, or the human nature. The Bible informs us about our flesh and the reality that while we are here in this flesh we will always struggle against sin, to some degree. Sure we will have victories over certain sins, and throughout the process of sanctification we will find ourselves growing into the image and likeness of Christ but we will always have a battle to fight, against the flesh the Devil, and the world around us.
Over the years you come to know one thing to be true when it comes to people there is no telling what people are capable of. We see horrendous acts perpetrated on innocent children, murders happening on a daily, and I used to wonder how can people do these things?
But the Bible is clear when it speaks on the condition of the human heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
There are things people do and then you wonder “what were they thinking?” Quite honestly they could not tell you even if you asked them because the human heart is sick. Our hearts are stained with sin, they are sick to the core though we may not realize it from time to time. But the natural bend of a person is to want to do whats wrong. People being to drift in this life and they wonder how they end up places so far away from the Lord but it is because left to our own devices we don’t naturally drift toward God.
If we find ourselves drifting toward God it is because the Holy Spirit is drawing us. There is no such thing as a seeker. There are no such thing as a true seeker of the Lord. Yet entire churches have changed the way they do preaching in order to reach “the lost”. There is only one problem with this.
The church exists for the Christian to be trained in Godliness that we might go out into the highways and hedges and compel the lost to come into the kingdom of God.
When I say there is no such thing as a “seeker” I obtain this stance from
no one understands; no one seeks for God.
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
In our humanity we don’t seek out God we seek out things for ourselves, we because of our flesh, tend to be drawn to the forbidden. which is why Eve ate of the tree she was forbidden to eat from. I mean think of this God placed Adam and Eve in a garden full of perfection. Where he Himself walked with them in the cool of the day. There were undoubtedly thousands of options for her to choose but she had to take of the one tree God had forbidden them from eating.
Such is the nature of the human condition.
Our fleshly nature when left unchecked, when not daily surrendered to the Holy Spirit will run us off the road spiritually and leave us stranded and ruin our life. We have to bring our flesh under the authority of the Holy Spirit. Only Gods Spirit can cleanse us and change our desires to match His will for our lives.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
At the core of the disease called sin, is the root cause of that sin...... PRIDE
Pride is a restless creature that dwells in every human heart.
Pride is an improper and excessive self-esteem known as conceit or arrogance, it is a high and exalted attitude of the heart and spirit.
What would your beast look like?
If we could strip away all of the good that we are and just see our pride, how hiddeous would it be?
Well we find an instance in where Go reveals this beast on the inside of a man, by allowing him to see it for himself...
If you remember we discussed last time we were in Daniel the amazing courage and faith displayed by Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego.
How they refused to compromise and worship the golden image that King Nebuchanezzar had erected, and as a result they were thrown into a fiery furnace. yet when they entered the fire there was 3 of them but as King Nebuchanezzar looked on he noticed that there were 4 men standing in the flames.
Jesus Himself protected those men, and as a result the wicked King made a decree that no one was to interfere with the worship of the God of Shadrach Meshack and Abednego.
Now we find ourself in our passage today I want us to examine three things: A false surrender, Another Unsettling Dream, An inner man revealed.
A False Surrender
A False Surrender
The King marched forward, he had just witnessed a miracle, and as he stepped forward, he made another announcement:
King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you! It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.
WOW based on his words it seems as though he has had a change of heart concerning the God of Daniel, Shadrach Meshack, and Abednego. He begins to proclaim praises to his name..
But the Lord was about to reveal the true nature of Nebuchanezzards pride filled heart.
Another Unsettling Dream
Another Unsettling Dream
I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and the visions of my head alarmed me.
So heres old Nebbie and he cant sleep again, he is terrified from a vision given to him in his sleep. How many of you believe God can still speak through dreams?
Well he begins to have a conversation with Nebuchanezzar back in the beginning of the book but he never finished the conversation and so God send this dream to him and it is alarming, it is definately not something you would want to be seeing vividly in your sleep. So he does what he always does.. calls for the wise men.
now you would think that after Daniel already interpreted a dream he would call him first when a dream arose, but no here he goes again calling for the wise men. who were the same wise men who couldn’t interpret anything the first time.
So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation.
We have already learned this lesson Nebbie what are you doing?
Only God can put dreams in the mind of a man and only the man of God, can interpret the spiritual visions he has given. But apparently he needs to learn this again so he calls on Daniel otherwise known by his babylonian name Belteshazzar.
At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—and I told him the dream, saying, “O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too difficult for you, tell me the visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation.
The king still does not realize that God gave Daniel the interpretation even though Daniel said over and over again that God showed him the meaning behind the dream. But another dream meant another opporutnity to show the king that God was the only true God so he began describing what he saw.
The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it. “I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. He proclaimed aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him. The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’
To put the interpretation simply God was telling Nebuchanezzar that he opposes the proud but he gives grace to the humble. so that all people will know who it is that is Lord over all the lowliest kingdoms of men. Daniel elaborates on this dream more in verse 24.
His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand. The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.” And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.
An inner man revealed
An inner man revealed
All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws. At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.