Daniel 4:28-33 – Don’t Ya Hate It When Your Dad’s Warnings Come True!

Posted: June 3, 2016 in Book of Daniel

Daniel 4:28-33

The Dream is Fulfilled

As a parent, we often can see our children’s mistakes coming from a mile away. It is not that we can predict the future, but it is often because we have made the same mistakes ourselves or we have watched others make the same mistakes. We warn our children that continuing in a certain line of behavior will lead to bad consequences. Again, not that we are oh so wise but rather we have been down that same road before and lived with the consequences ourselves or watched others do the same. We’ve all been there. In my second marriage, there was always this seething under the surface jealousy between my wife and her boys toward my girls. There was always this uneasy détente most of the time between all parties involved. Any choice that I made that seemed to favor my girls would meet with disapproval. I should have known that this would be an issue the first time that I brought my second wife and her boys to meet my parents and my girls. All of us were at the same place at the same time together. My second wife’s oldest boy who was about 10 at the time normally had little to do with me but on that night he clung to me at a bad cold. He was trying to make sure that he was demonstrating that he was close to me to the girls as if I was a toy that he did not want to share. This was a marker of my second marriage – the whole my kids vs. your kids thing. My dad warned me that night, in a private conversation, that there were two things that would break up first marriages. Those two things were money and sex. He went on to say that even worse that there were three things that would break up a second marriage. Those things were money, sex, and kid issues. He said that 67% of second marriages fail because not only are there the regular issues that will break marriages but in second marriages you usually have young to teenage children and issues surrounding your kids vs. mine can rip a marriage apart. He said that he wasn’t just being mean but that he, in counseling families as a pastor over the years, had seen it happen too many times.

 

He said to be aware of it and that marriage should never be an environment where you have to choose between your wife and your kids. You should be able to love one without excluding the other. I told my dad that he was full of it and just didn’t like my second wife. He was full of it. What a load! He said the old phrase, “Mark my words, son!” That’s the parent way of saying no matter how much you want things to be different, it is statistically proven that this will happen. Don’t ya hate when your parents use the mark my words thing or something similar to it. There was a warning that I remember also from later in my second marriage that rang profound later, “Wives may come and go but your kids are forever.” Although I don’t espouse (get it, e-spouse, just love puns I do!) to the theory that wives are like underwear that you change daily, but it is a commentary on our times where multiple marriages are the norm instead of the exception. As my second marriage progressed, my dad’s words that night when it was early in my relationship with the woman that would become my second wife became prophetic. Mistakes were made. Jealousies came to the surface. Ultimately, the differences that my second wife and I had about one’s treatment of the other’s own children were the undoing of our marriage. That issue was there from the beginning and could never really be fixed. There was an old saying when I worked for the School District of Greenville County as my first job out of college where we said, “this would be a great place to work if it weren’t for the kids!” The irony of course was the kids were the whole purpose of the school district. The same was true for my second marriage, it was pretty good if it weren’t for the kids. The irony was that we could not get rid of our kids. They were part of the package deal. If anyone tells you that you gotta settle those issues up front before you get into your second marriage, be warned. My kids vs. your kids is a real thing. It is a ticking time bomb that might not go off now but it will at some point. Second marriages can survive these issues, usually with counseling, but most don’t make it because of this issue. My dad’s warning came true. Ultimately, it ended my second marriage. Don’t you hate it when your parents are right? As I have matured over the years and watch my girls in their relationships, I realize that my dad was not being mean, he was just trying to get me to think about what I was doing. Not to be mean, but rather he did not want to see me go through pain and suffering more so that I already had with the ending of my first marriage.

 

Then, I think of two lady friends of mine that went through divorces when their kids were but very little who saw that their kid’s happiness was more important than a man being in each of their lives. One has grown kids now and is only now considering a real relationship some 15 or so years later after her husband left her. Another is a mom with little kids still at home who is dealing with the loneliness of being a single parent but who sees her role as a mother as primary and having a romance as secondary to the first thing. She may not remarry til those kids are much older. Each of these ladies, I admire because they aren’t making the same mistake that most of us make of jumping from one relationship to the other and our kids just have to hang on by a tether rope to us and flap in the breeze as we try to find our own happiness. Most of us place our pride before the needs of our kids. Pride what a dangerous emotion it can be.

 

That idea of warnings and prophecies that are intended to keep us from harm’s way that we ignore in pride that we find in today’s passage, Daniel 4:26-33. My own life experience of my pride causing me to damn the advice and warnings of others and then living with the consequences of not listening to those warnings. I see myself in this passage. Let’s read it:

 

28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 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?”

 

31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “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 the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth 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 the ox. 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.

 

Nebuchadnezzar had a whole year to heed the prophetic warning of God that was given him through his dream. So many times in just 4 chapters of Daniel so far have we seen Neb see the power of God in those dreams of his and how he was seem to get it for a little bit and then drift away. His pride always got the best of him. He was warned that his kingdom would end. He was warned that it all could be taken away in a flash and that he needed to become a child of God and not just pay lip service to Him as one of Neb’s gods. He was warned but his pride kept him from doing what was necessary to avoid disaster. He thought he was his own god. He thought he did not need God. He thought that he did not need the advice of God. He thought that he was in control. He thought things would be different for him. He was Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty emperor, after all. Are we not like him? Are we too prideful to hear God speaking to us through the words of others? Are we too prideful to heed the Holy Spirit’s warnings about mistakes that we are about to make? Are we too prideful to admit to the Lord that we have made mistakes and need his help?

 

Do we have to live with the consequences of our pride like Neb did? Do we want to live like an animal because we refuse to see our mistakes? Are we waist deep in sewage of our making? It is not too late to wake up and realize that we have made a mess of our lives and turn to God. Open your eyes and your nose to the mess that is your life and come to the only real mighty one, God! Hand the reins of your life to Him. He can restore you to solid ground. May we listen to the Holy Spirit warnings going forward. May we pay attention to and obey the Lord when he gives us those feeling that this is not right, that this is bad, that this should not be done. Help us oh Lord to be in tune with your heart and help us to listen and obey when you speak for you are our Ultimate Parent who cares so deeply for us that You want us to avoid the mistakes of pride. All we have to do is listen. All we have to do is trust. All we have to do is obey.

 

Amen and Amen.

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