After seven years of living among wild animals, banished from the world’s most powerful throne because of his prideful ways, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon finally came to his senses.
The God who had placed him over a vast and prosperous empire was at long last seen by the king for who He is – the Giver of all blessings. It was a hard lesson for one accustomed to boundless success and extravagant luxury, but one well worth learning, for it led to faith and the pathway to peace.
36 At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the honor of my kingdom, and my state counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just; and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” Daniel 4:36-37 (NASB)
With this trial behind him, King Nebuchadnezzar was restored to his original position and going forward served his people in righteousness.
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus told of another person who was suffering because he had departed from God’s ways, in the Parable of the Lost, or Prodigal, Son. Demanding and receiving his inheritance in advance from his father, the son wasted it on wild living in a far country. When the money was all gone, the son hungrily took the only job he could find – tending pigs. But even here he was not even allowed to eat of the poor food he was giving them.
17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired laborers have more than enough bread, but I am dying here from hunger! 18 I will set out and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired laborers.”’ Luke 15:17-19 (NASB)
This young man’s life lesson was entirely of his own making, but the parable shows that the Lord has a soft heart even for the most wayward. When this young man humbled himself in his heart, God was ready to forgive and restore him.
20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. Luke 15:20-24 (ESV)
The Father in Jesus’ parable is the Lord. Even when we have turned away from Him to live a life of sin, He loves us and longs for us to return. He is always keeping watch for us like the young man’s father – not to strike us down with a lightning bolt, but to lift us up, embrace us and kiss us – He loves us! Jesus took all of the punishment we deserve upon Himself on the cross at Calvary. He was then raised from the dead, the First Born of many believers, so that we, too, may follow Him forever. All He asks is that we come to our senses and humbly turn to Him, believing in Jesus as Lord and receiving Him and His sacrifice in our hearts. Many have done this, and the rewards are endless.
We all have weak points where we are prone to sin. Ours may be pride, like King Nebuchadnezzar, or something else, such as hate, lust, greed or any combination of things that we that we know in our hearts is wrong but choose to do anyway.
God is merciful and desires that we turn to Him to receive complete cleansing, forgiveness, and restoration. The two accounts in this meditation are a testimony to God’s loving character and patience with us. Won’t you seek Him today?
Lord, we may be in a place right now where we do not want to be. Perhaps we have walked away from You in a certain area of our lives and now need to be restored back to a position of safety, favor, righteousness, and fellowship with You. We ask Your forgiveness for what we have done, and Your help in changing our actions going forward. We ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, who loves me and wants the very best for me. Amen.