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The Only Hope for America (5 of 7)
Fifth (5) in a series of (7) sermons from the book of Daniel chapters 1-6.
An unrivaled world leader, a powerful and prosperous nation whose influence reaches out to every nation on the earth. No, I'm not talking about the United States, I'm referring to ancient Babylon. Yet while I'm referring to Babylon, Daniel chapter 4 is a timely prophetic word for our nation (i.e., us) and for our leaders. Because it is true that those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.
God has ordained government, "for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God" (Rom. 13:1). Government is established by God for the benefit of people, their protection and prosperity. The character and integrity of a nation's citizens and leaders is the most important factor in whether a nation will be blessed by God. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Prov. 14:34). Nebuchadnezzar was not the first to forget that nor has he been the last. It's said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Nebuchadnezzar forgot that he was given his great power to be a servant of the people. His vanity and pride led him into exile in his own country, wandering in the fields of Babylon for seven (7) years.
The Arab Spring that we have witnessed reminds us that when governments rule in pride and with unrestrained power, the people eventually will revolt and chaos ensues. Vanity was Nebuchadnezzar's blind spot and downfall. But there is hope for the insanity of vanity. The king who was led out to pasture was renewed when he acknowledge the Lord and came to understand the stewardship required of his position. Blessing followed Nebuchadnezzar's brokenness.
In the opening verses (vv.1-3), Nebuchadnezzar tells of the great things that God has done for him from a past-tense perspective. Then he makes an admission that ...
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