Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied to you.…
To me it seemed comely to declare the signs and the wonders that God Most High for me hath wrought (ver. 2 amended translation). The history of the king's insanity is told, not by the Prophet Daniel, but in a state paper, under the hand of the king, and quoted by the prophet. The edict is true to human nature and to the king's character. The following motives may have influenced him:
2. Conscience. It was right to admit sin and to recount its judgments.
3. A certain complacency in being the object of Divine dealing.
4. A self-respectful independence of the opinion of the crowd.
From the text occasion may be taken to discourse on the propriety of recounting the Lord's dealings with ourselves.
I. THE RECOUNTING should be marked by the following characteristics.
1. The subject-matter should be of public concern. The facts should either be already public, or such as may with propriety be made public property. There are deep things of the human spirit, which, to recount, would be good neither for ourselves nor for others. In Nebuchadnezzar's case, the facts were notorious, though it rested with him to exhibit them in a Divine light.
2. The audience may then be one whole circle. The largeness of our circle depends in part on our social elevation. The higher our standing, the larger the number who know us. Not entirely our social elevation; for much will depend on our moral elevation. Thomas Wright, the prison philanthropist; Levi Coffin, who was "the underground railway" by which slaves passed from misery to Canada, - were names known all over the world. All who had any knowledge of the king were to hear what the Lord had done for his soul (see ver. 1).
3. The tone should be kindest. "The royal style which Nebuchadnezzar makes use of has nothing in it of pomp or fancy; but is plain, short, and unaffected, 'Nebuchadnezzar the king."
4. Integrity should pervade the recital. It should constitute one whole. God's rebukes, as well as his favours, should come into our account, even though humiliating to ourselves, if the good of others and the glory of God demand it. Some striking instances of such recital of sins and the Father's chastisement, will be found in the narrative of his early life by George Muller, in 'The Lord's Dealings.'
5. The motive should be God. Certainly not our own glory - not self, nor others, save subordinately.
II. THE PROPRIETY OF IT. Such a recounting of Divine dealing with us is:
1. Good for ourselves. In the case of the king, he was led
(1) to admire the Divine acts;
(2) to infer the Divine rule.
2. Salutary for others.
3. Conducive to the Divine glory and the extension of the Divine kingdom. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.