The Conversion of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
May 2, 2011 - Whom do you know that you think is beyond hope when it comes to salvation? Is there someone you have dropped off of your prayer list because he or she seems to be beyond the reach of God’s grace? Then be encouraged by the personal testimony of one of the most evil and wicked leaders in human history, Nebuchadnezzar.
Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and (A)become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.—Matthew 18:3 (NASB)
by Anne Graham Lotz
Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest king of the greatest empire in the world (Daniel 2:37-38). He was the tyrant who threw three Hebrew men into the fiery furnace when they refused to bow to his image (Daniel 3:13-23). And he is the ruler Saddam Hussein said he wanted to be like. This same Nebuchadnezzar was converted! And he wrote down his testimony as a witness not only to the world of his day, but also to future generations.
READ DANIEL 4:1-37
I. He Was Personally Changed: What God Did
- In what way did God change Nebuchadnezzar’s priorities? Compare 3:13-15 with 4:1. His preoccupation? Compare 4:30 with 4:2. His perspective? Compare 3:15 with 4:3, 34-35.
- If there has been no personal change as a result of faith in Jesus Christ, can a person go to Heaven? See Matthew 18:3.
- What does James say about a professed faith that gives no evidence of change? See James 2:17.
- When were you personally changed or converted? What changes has Jesus made in your life that others can see?
II. He Was Powerfully Changed: How God Did It
A. God Created a Need
- Describe the condition of Nebuchadnezzar’s life in verse 4.
- Of what spiritual needs do you think he was aware? Material needs? Emotional needs? Physical needs?
- How did his condition change in verses 5-18?
- What needs are you aware of in the life of your “Nebuchadnezzar”?
B. God Clarified His Word
- Because Daniel was a prophet from God, his word was God’s Word.
- What different attitudes or perspectives did Daniel portray in his presentation of God’s Word in verses 19-23? Verses 24-26? Verse 27? How are these important today?
- How necessary is God’s Word to our change or conversion? See Romans 10:17, Hebrews 11:6, 1 John 2:3-6.
- What have you done to make sure your “Nebuchadnezzar” hears the Word of God?
C. God Crushed Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride
- What was Nebuchadnezzar’s response to hearing God’s Word explained and applied to his life? See verses 27-30.
- How long did God wait for Nebuchadnezzar to repent of his sin? See verse 29.What evidence is there that God’s patience did not mean tolerance or acceptance of sin? See verses 31-33.
- What are some ways God brings people to repentance? See 2 Chronicles 33:1-2, 10-13; Jonah 1:4, 17; Acts 9:1-9, 16:26-30; Romans 2:4.
- Whose responsibility is it to convict your “Nebuchadnezzar” of sin? See John 16:7-11.
- In what way have you been doing the Holy Spirit’s “job”? Would you stop pointing out the sin in the other person’s life, and just pray?
D. God Changed Nebuchadnezzar’s Mind
- In verse 34, what was happening to cause Nebuchadnezzar to raise his eyes toward Heaven? Compare verse 25 with verses 34-35.
- If God could change Nebuchadnezzar, why do you think He cannot change the person for whom you have been praying?
- How is God working in the life of your “Nebuchadnezzar” to create an awareness of his need for Him? To clarify His Word to him? To crush his pride? To change his mind and bring him to repentance?
III. He Was Purposefully Changed: Why God Did It
- What were the practical results of Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion? See verse 36.
- Do you think Nebuchadnezzar’s life was better or worse because of his conversion?
- What was the ultimate, spiritual and eternal result of his conversion? See verse 37.
- What is the ultimate purpose of your conversion? Read Matthew 5:16, Romans 15:5-6, 1 Corinthians 6:20.
Would you take a few minutes now to thank God for what He did for Nebuchadnezzar of old?
Would you now thank God for what He has done for you, how He has done it, and why?
Make time today to write down your personal testimony as a witness to those who may read it, including future generations of children and grandchildren. Then, persevere in prayer for your Nebuchadnezzar.
©2011 Anne Graham Lotz