And those who walk in pride he is able to humble

Lessons from Daniel

For those unfamiliar with Daniel, it’s a great book and well worth a read as it speaks deeply into identity in a broken and unfamiliar world.
Chapter 4 tells of the dream of the King, Nebuchadnezzar.  This dream shows him as a mighty tree, a tree which provided food and shelter for its people.  This tree was visible to the ends of the earth, which speaks of the magnitude of the kingdom over which Nebuchadnezzar reigned.  Yet the tree was cut down and the king brought low.  Daniel is asked to interpret the dream and acts with deep humility himself as he shares the interpretation.

Nebuchadnezzar is an enemy, he is the king who dragged Daniel and his friends from their home land into forced exile.  You would not have been surprised if Daniel had shown some degree of joy or delight at the prophecy of destruction, yet he acts with great tact and compassion.  In verse 19 we read that he was perplexed and terrified to share the message, and in verse 27 we see him offering advice in order to help Nebuchadnezzar avoid the punishment of God directed at his prideful ways.

As Christians we sit in a world saturated by pride.  This month (June) is one where pride is on display for all to celebrate.  From products we purchase, to services we use, the rainbow flag has replaced many brand icons and packaging.  Rainbow flags fly from civic and government buildings, our schools promote pride activities to our children and our news feeds are bombarded with stories of pride events and marches.

How we respond to pride is so important.  Daniel trusted God to do what he said he would do, and that means he knew that God will hold us all accountable for our own pride and sinful behaviour.  Judgment is not for us to meter out.  But Daniel also sought to do something more than simply put his trust in God.  He wanted to convert Nebuchadnezzar into a friend, to show him grace, and through that grace to become friends and draw him closer to God.

It opens up the question, when in exile how do we treat our enemies?  The answer to this is revealing and it boils down to two key choices.
  • Seek to destroy them
  • Seek to convert them into friends

As we respond to Pride, to events, social media feeds, news items and conversations ask yourself this question before you comment:

Am I seeking justice, revenge or to prove my point.  Am I using the word of God as a weapon to destroy? (DESTRUCTION)


Am I seeking to show love and compassion, am I using the word of God to share his love and to draw people close to Him? (CONVERSION)

If it helps, remember where you once were before you met Jesus.  Would the pride of a Christian stepping out of line from their calling have converted you, or rather was the love of a Christian seeking to know and love you deeply your catalyst for change?

Trust God, his word clearly tells us he is able - And those who walk in pride he is able to humble – Daniel 4:37





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