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Oh Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say
Scripture: Daniel 3:28-30; Psalm 66:16; Daniel 4:1-...
Track 4 of 12 in the Daniel: A Life Without Compromise series
Running time: 1 hour, 02 minutes, 05 seconds.
Chapter 4 was written by Nebuchadnezzar himself. It is his own account of his conversion to God. The details are vivid and authentic. What we can say about Nebuchadnezzar at the end of his account is that he was a saved man.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Oh Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

Chapter 4 of Daniel is a very interesting chapter in that it has some stunning information in it and has a warning every one of us better be aware of. How many times has your mouth gotten you in trouble? I know for me, if it weren’t for my mouth, life would be a little easier. Too often the things I say often get me into more hot water than what I want to experience.

The Bible tells us that the most vital and yet the most difficult thing to master is our words. It is not so much what goes in one ear and comes out the other that bothers us, it is what goes in one ear, gets garbled in the process, and then comes out the mouth!
Fay Angus

What about you, has your mouth said some things you wish you could take back?

How careful would our words be if at each time we said something that was untrue, hurtful, boastful or arrogant, God would come down and strike us with some sort of mishap? How many of those mishaps would it take to help you tame your tongue?

The last time we were together, the three friends of Daniel were invited to a BBQ; they were actually the item on the menu to be cooked. Nebuchadnezzar had made a decree that when everyone heard the music, they were to fall down and worship the statue of gold that Nebuchadnezzar had made. If anyone refused, they were to be thrown into the furnace alive. It was brought to Nebuchadnezzar’s attention that the three friends of Daniel’s didn’t follow the decree. At first Nebuchadnezzar allowed them to make their defense but when they actually refused to worship the golden image, Nebuchadnezzar was furious. He ordered them to be thrown in to the super hot furnace.

But a very interesting thing happened; the three men weren’t consumed by the flames. In fact, not only were they safe and walking around in the fire unharmed, Nebuchadnezzar saw a fourth person with them described as “a son of the gods”. Stunned but impressed, Nebuchadnezzar gave God the credit and made the following decree:

Daniel 3:28-30 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

What kind of effect do you think this event had on Nebuchadnezzar’s life? Imagine if you witnessed this event or something as tremendous; how would it affect you? What about others who saw this event?

True or False: Seeing is believing

Do people have to see things with their actual eyes in order to truly believe something someone tells them? If it is something that is totally impossible to believe, does seeing it yourself help you to be convinced?

When you hear the name, Nebuchadnezzar, what images come to mind and how would you describe this man to others? Do you expect to see him in Heaven? Is he listed in the Hall of Fame of Faith? How many of you would include him?

Chapter 4 is a testimony of a king who saw something that totally changed his life. What Nebuchadnezzar saw in the furnace was something that was real and because it was real, he believed in God. Chapter 4 was written by Nebuchadnezzar himself. It is his own account of his conversion to God. The details are vivid and authentic. What we can say about Nebuchadnezzar at the end of his account is that he was a saved man. His testimony is very similar to what we read in Psalms 66:

Psalm 66:16 Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.

What Nebuchadnezzar says is something that is not remembered about him, Unfortunately, Christians remember him as the conqueror of Israel, the evil king who destroyed the holy Temple, the man who threw Daniel’s friends in the fiery furnace. But very few know the rest of the story about his life. Chapter 4 is the rest of the story and very few know who Nebuchadnezzar turned out to be.

Daniel 4:1-3 King Nebuchadnezzar, To the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in all the world: May you prosper greatly! It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.

Wow, I bet very few Christians would attribute that statement to King Nebuchadnezzar. And yet, not only does he make this statement; it is written in the form of a royal edict. Not only did Nebuchadnezzar want his entire kingdom to know the truth he discovered, he wanted the entire world to know and had this sent to all the modern nations at that time. He wanted the entire world to know what God had done for him.

True or False: Whenever God truly saves a man, the new convert becomes a witness.

If true, then can we expect this statement to be true? If you have no witness, it is doubtful that you ever experienced a conversion?

How important is Chapter 4 in Daniel to the testimony of the Bible? Was Nebuchadnezzar a real historical figure? How influential was Babylon in the world at that time? Does it make a difference when a famous monarch renounces his gods and declares his faith in the God of Israel?

I love how Nebuchadnezzar starts out his statement, “Peace be multiplied unto you.” KJV He recognized that there were many in his kingdom that were not at peace (Israelites) but he wanted everyone to experience the peace he had. It was a pleasure to him to tell others of what God had done in his life. What Chapter 4 tells me is, if a Gentile king can have this tremendous desire to tell others about God, how much more should you and I have that desire?

Throughout the 4th chapter, Nebuchadnezzar relates the experiences he had with the dream, Daniel’s interpretation and how Daniel was able to relate and interpret the dream with God’s help. He also tells of another dream he had that Daniel interpreted for him. As he laid on his bed, he had a dream of a large tree that reached to the sky and that all the birds of the air rested in its branches and all the animals of the earth rested under it. But an angel comes down from heaven and cries aloud:

Daniel 4:14-17 Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. “‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times£ pass by for him. “‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.’

Have you ever experienced times in your life when everything seemed fine but deep down inside you knew things weren’t fine? Or you felt that life was now good and everything in your life was going the way you always wanted it to. What are the dangers when you find yourself that way?

King Nebuchadnezzar was in such a state. Life was awesome and he had everything he needed. He was rich, powerful and nothing out there was strong enough to take it away from him. He was much like the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:17

Revelation 3:17-18 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

The dream frightened him. As he laid on his bed surrounded by wealth, he was made aware of his misery, wretchedness and poverty. The account tells us that Nebuchadnezzar was at rest but it was a rest of false security. So God sent him a vision to arouse him from his false sense of security. There is a fact that every man needs to know and respect (fear)

“‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.’

What does this actually mean? What is the warning to every leader, to every man who lives on the earth?

There is something I find very fascinating about Daniel. I want you to notice what the King had decreed.

Daniel 4:6-8 So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream.

When all the wise men of Babylon were called in before Nebuchadnezzar, notice Daniel wasn’t included. Any ideas why? Typically, men who are ungodly turn to the wrong sources for help. Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t any different. The men who couldn’t help him the first time weren’t going to help him in this situation. It required Daniel to give the correct interpretation. It is typical of people who get into trouble, and in their fear, they run to psychiatrist, psychologist, lawyers or politicians. But they will not go to a true servant of God who can lead them to the Word of God.

Daniel 4:24-27 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”

What was the reason for the dream? To let everyman know that God’s will must and will prevail. Man does not setup whatever he pleases. Paul wrote in Romans that the powers that be are ordained by God (Romans 13:1)

TRUE or FALSE: Man’s power is not a sign of his own greatness, but that he has been ordained of God to rule.

Nations have risen and fallen. The God who set a man up as ruler can also put him down. There are too many examples of this in scripture to make the point true. There have been many in history who met their demise because they didn’t give God the proper praise and all the glory. International affairs are not mere matters of chance.

Daniel 4:28-33 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. ”Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

On the morning of battle of Waterloo, Napoleon stood gazing upon the field of battle as he described to his commanding officer his strategy for the day’s campaign. He said, at the end of the day England will be at the feet of France and Wellington will be the prisoner of Napoleon. After pausing, his commander said, “But we must not forget that man proposes but God disposes.” Napoleon responded by saying, “I want you to understand, sir, that Napoleon proposes and Napoleon disposes.

From that moment, Waterloo was lost for God sent rain and hail so that the troops of Napoleon could not maneuver as he had planned, and on the night of the battle it was Napoleon who was the prisoner of Wellington and France was at the feet of England.

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Daniel 4:34, 36-37 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.