Read Daniel 4:19-37
How did Yahweh communicate with Nebuchadnezzar?
A. Through Nature
B. Through a dream that his astrologers interpreted for him
C. Through a dream that Daniel interpreted for him
Who spoke to Nebuchadnezzar in his dream?
A. Yahweh Himself
C. A watcher and holy one
What did Nebuchadnezzar see in his dream
A. A tree that was cut down
B. An eagle flying high
C. Visions of the end of the world
What happened to the tree?
A. It grew and flourished forever
B. It bore twelve kinds of fruit
C. It was cut down for the length of seven times
D. It was struck by lightning
How long elapsed before the judgement fell?
A. Two months
B. Eight months
C. Ten months
D. One year
Lord, thank You for taking control of my life. Help me to always remember that You are the captain of my soul, and the one who order my steps. In Jesus name, Amen.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
The aforementioned stanza of the poem Invictus has inspired millions. The message of self-confidence, self-determination, self-assurance have enabled many to do more; to be more; and to expect more. Invictus is a great secular rendition of poetry, for the Christian however, it amounts to a little more than a delusional declaration of self-sovereignty.
The poem was written by William Ernest Henley when he was 27 years old. Hensey suffered from tuberculosis which made him an amputee, and ultimately ended his life. An avowed atheist, his only hope was within. This poem represents his magna carta to never surrender to the disease. Henley looked around, and within, but unlike the Christian, he was unable to look up. Even Nebuchadnezzar eventually looked up, and when he did, he understood that God, not himself, was in control of his life.
Unfortunately, Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind before he understood that God is in control. In his grand utterance, “look at the great Babylon that I have built,” he stole God’s glory, and suggested that all of his accomplishments were by his own power. He took credit for what God did on his behalf. He stole God’s glory.
And for stealing God’s glory, he was stricken with Lycanthropy, a disease that caused him to act like an animal. In his crisis of consciousness, he was cured once he acknowledged God as creator and controller of his life.
Our lives may not mirror the life of King Nebuchadnezzar, but the temptation to take credit for what God has done and is doing in our lives is high. We can overcome this crisis of consciousness by making sure we keep him as the Captain of our soul. When the wind and waves of life destabilize our existence, we must know that we aren’t in control. We must know that we can’t control rain, wind nor the waves, but we know who can. The one who control the ship and the sea, is the same one that charters the course of our lives. He is also the captain of our soul.
Questions to Ponder
1. How is it evident that you have made Jesus the captain of your soul? When are you tempted to question the captain’s directions for your life? How do you come to peace with that uncertainty?