The Testimony of a Once Pagan King

Even a pagan king could see that the God of heaven is the only true God.  Do you know Him?

July 22, 2022

"Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment:  and those that walk in pride He is able to abase."

Daniel 4:37


King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was a great but proud king!  He had been a great expansionist builder.  He believed all that he did and the power that he wielded was all because of his own doing.  In his eyes, he was self-important.  He even dared to say –

“…Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30).

Such arrogance and superiority are vile, except to the proud, they bask in it.  In their false view of self, they ignore the true splendor and majesty that is the LORD’s!  What is such arrogance in humans compared to the excellent greatness of God? (see Psalm 150:1-2).  Nebuchadnezzar’s boasting certainly got God’s attention.  He is the One who watches all and has all authority over all the kings on earth!  God is the One who says who will be significant before the people.

God is the judgeHe decides who will be importantHe lifts one person up and brings another down” [1] (Psalm 75:7, HSB).

It was God who decided that Nebuchadnezzar needed to be humbled.  God removed his authority (v. 31) and sanity from him and let him roam the fields like a beast.  And then, “at the end of the days” (v. 34), at the end of God’s appointed time of humbling, after God’s work was concluded in him, he had a  major change of heart toward God (v. 34).  Then his “understanding returned” and he praised and honored God.  The LORD returned to Nebuchadnezzar “my reason,” “my honor,” and “my splendor” (v. 36).

“Having been humbled before God, Nebuchadnezzar rose to greater heights of honor than he had known when he walked in pride.  He said he praised, exalted, and glorified the King of heaven (cf. “honored” and “glorified” in v. 34)” [2] (BKC).

He had a heart change, the kind that only God can do.  From the text, we understand that his praising, exalting, and glorifying of God continued through his life.  God had humbled him, and the king acknowledged God’s right to do so.  At the end of Nebuchadnezzar’s ordeal, he gave this testimony about Israel’s God –


“Now I Nebuchadnezzar.”
Yes, it is difficult to believe, but that formerly narcissistic king is pouring out his adoration for Jehovah.  What explanation is there for this radically changed life, other than it was God who did it?!


“Praise and extol and honor the King of heaven.”
Where Nebuchadnezzar had degraded God in the past, now he gave Him His rightful place.

“He heaps word on word as if he cannot say enough in praise of God” [3] (JFB).


“All whose works are truth, and His ways judgment.”
The pagan king understood that God’s works are “truth” and “judgment.”  And at the end of time, we will be witnesses that God still works the same way.

“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints” (Revelation 15:3).

“And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments” (Revelation 16:7).


“And those that walk in pride He is able to abase.”
God’s ability to know all and adequately chasten a wayward sinner is no problem for Him in these end times.  Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson well.

“The God whom we serve not only exists but reigns.  No other position would become him but that of unlimited sovereignty over all his creatures” [4] (Spurgeon).

“The last sentence of the chapter summarizes the message of the story—that God is able to humble those who walk in pride” [5] (CSB).

“But he giveth more grace.  Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6).

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10).

“Thus, Daniel’s last picture of Nebuchadnezzar portrays him as the divinely reestablished Babylonian sovereign who serves as global witness for the God of the Hebrews” [6] (Eerdmans).


Quote:  “If God could produce such a result on the haughty king of Babylon, is there any sinner He cannot subdue?  May not the stern discipline to which some lives are subjected be intended to subdue their proud wills and bring them to similar confessions?” [7] (F.B. Meyer).




[1] HSB is the Harvest Study Bible from Harvest Ministries in Guam.
[2] BKC, J. Dwight Pentecost, “Daniel,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1343–1344.
[3] JFB, Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 1 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 629–630.
[4] Spurgeon’s quote was borrowed from EWC – David Guzik.  Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword.
[5] CSB, Michael Rydelnik, “Daniel,” in CSB Study Bible: Notes, ed. Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 1333.
[6] Gordon D. Fee and Robert L. Hubbard Jr., eds., The Eerdmans Companion to the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011), 446.
[7] TBDD – F.B. Meyer.  Through the Bible Day by Day, the electronic version in eSword.