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Put Out to Pasture

Daniel 4; Prophets and Kings, pp. 514–521


The Message

I can serve God wherever I am.

Memory Verse

“Let your speech always be with grace, . . . that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6, NKJV).

Would you like to live in a field with cows and eat grass? A king once spent seven years living among the animals. This is how it happened . . .


King Nebuchadnezzar was bothered by the dream of the great image. He was flattered and pleased that Babylon was first. But it worried him that other kingdoms came after his kingdom.

Then he had another strange dream. Nebuchadnezzar’s wise men could not interpret the dream. So once again Nebuchadnezzar sent for Daniel. He told Daniel about his dream. This is what he told Daniel:

“I dreamed of a large tree in the middle of a plain. It was enormous and seemed to reach up to heaven. The leaves were beautiful and the fruit plentiful. The birds made their home in its branches. And the animals sheltered under it. Then suddenly I saw a Holy One. I heard a loud voice from heaven saying: ‘Cut down the tree. Trim off the branches. Tell the animals to run away and the birds to find another home. But leave the stump in the field and put a brass and iron band around it.’

“The voice continued: ‘Let him be drenched with dew. Let him live with the animals. Let his mind be like an animal until seven times pass by.

“ ‘I have made this decision so that the living may know that God is ruler of all the kingdoms. And He gives them to whom He wants to.’ ” When Daniel heard the dream, he was troubled. The meaning was plain to him. And it was not a pleasant message to deliver to the king. The king might become angry. But Nebuchadnezzar tried to reassure him. He just wanted to know what the dream meant.

Daniel knew that God wanted him to speak the truth. So he told the king that his dream was a warning from God. He explained that Nebuchadnezzar was the tree. He had become great, strong, and powerful. He ruled over many places. However, God saw his pride. If Nebuchadnezzar did not acknowledge Him as Lord, something strange and terrible would happen. He would become insane and live in the fields like an animal for seven years. At the end of that time he would become king again.

Daniel encouraged Nebuchadnezzar to turn away from his sins and his pride. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar he should do what was right. He urged the king to be kind to those in need and then maybe this vision wouldn’t happen.

A year later Nebuchadnezzar was walking on the roof of the royal palace. He looked at all the wonderful things around him. He swelled with pride. He smiled to himself. “Is not this great Babylon that I have built by my power and for the glory of my majesty?”