Archive for December, 2009

I am Ozymandias, I am Nebuchadnezzar

Posted in Uncategorized on December 1, 2009 by jbasedow4

OZYMANDIAS

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

—-

Book of Daniel, Chapter 4

‘”This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 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.”

33 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.

34 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.
His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.

35 All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?”

36 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. 37 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.

I had a good talk tonight.  It reminded me of how good it is to tell our stories.  It reminds us of the growth that we’ve gone through and what God has done in our lives for good.  What it reminded me of tonight was the pride that I am so prone to.  Pride can distance ourselves from God’s heart in an instant, it’s poisonous (1 Peter 5:5).  The two passage above pretty much summarize (much better than I can) my thoughts on pride.  But I’m grateful that God is strong enough to humble the proud.  Look at Nebuchadnezzar’s life after being humbled!  The rest of his days he feared God Almighty because he had been humbled enough to know “that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

Pride detaches us from the knowledge that we need the grace that Jesus gives daily.  It lets us forget that each breath we take is granted by God, and is a gift, not a right.  My pride has caused me more pain than I would have liked, but the breaking of that pride has always left me with a better understanding of my Father in heaven, for that I am grateful.