King Nebuchadnezzar was very proud and arrogant about the kingdom he had built in Babylon and the power he had over it. God decides to teach him a lesson in humility; he warns him that if he continues to not acknowledge God as King over all the earth; he will be made like an animal that eats grass on a pasture. This happened and Nebuchadnezzar stayed like an animal until he acknowledged God by saying:
‘…His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
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?’ (Daniel 4:34-35)
Like King Nebuchadnezzar it can be easy to get prideful and think that our achievements are because of our own capability and effort. However we need to remain humbly dependent on God and thank him for all he has given us, it is all a gift. ‘Your reaction to any success should not be one of pride, self-importance or self-congratulations, but one of praise and thanks to God – honouring him and exalting him for what he has given you.’ (Bible in One Year, day 333).
In addition to pride being a problem when we achieve things it can also be a problem as we go about our day-to-day if we do it out of our strength and not with God’s. As Psalm 127:1 says: ‘unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain…’
Lord I am feeling really challenged today from reading about King Nebuchadnezzar and how his pride led to his downfall until he acknowledged you. I’m sorry for when I take credit for things I achieve instead of giving glory to you and for when I try and do things in my own strength. Lord help me to live my life in thankfulness and walking humbly with you. Amen.