Average reading time is about 5 minutesAn Amazing Fact: Tarquin the Proud was the last king of Rome. He became king by murdering his father-in-law, Servius Tullius. He earned the name “Tarquin the Proud” by refusing to bury Tullius’ body and killing several prominent senators known to have supported Tullius. The tyranny that characterized his reign was passed on to his son, Sextus Tarquinius. At his father’s suggestion, Sextus brought down an enemy city by falsely condemning leading citizens to death. The pride and cruelty of this father-son duo was eventually their downfall. Sextus’ rape of a beautiful kinswoman led to a revolt that resulted in the overthrow of Tarquin the Proud and the creation of a Roman republic.
Like Tarquin, Nebuchadnezzar’s pride is legendary. He created a statue similar to the statue in his dream that predicted the fall of his empire—only instead of a head of gold, the entire image was gold. (See Daniel chapters 3 and 4.) Nebuchadnezzar was claiming his kingdom would continue forever despite God’s revelation to the contrary. God gave him a dream warning of the consequences of his pride: “Your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field … till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men” (Daniel 4:25).
Nevertheless, Nebuchadnezzar returned to his prideful ways, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built … for the honor of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30). Only after spending seven years eating grass could Nebuchadnezzar recognize that “[God] does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth” (Daniel 4:35).
Nebuchadnezzar’s experience needn’t be our own. Though “God resists the proud,” He also “gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). Just as Nebuchadnezzar needed to learn that God was in control of his kingdom, we need to learn to give God control of our lives. Let’s learn to echo Nebuchadnezzar’s prayer, as Jesus taught His disciples to do: “Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. Proverbs 16:19