At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Isn’t it fascinating that God allowed Nebuchadnezzar’s writings to be part of Scripture. Daniel 4 is the personal record of King Nebuchadnezzar and how he was humbled before Almighty God. Because of his arrogance, he was reduced to a dumb beast eating grass for seven periods of time. At the end of that period of time, his “reason returned to him.” He gave glory and honor to God instead of to himself.
I wander if ole King Neb knew his reasoning was gone during that time of eating grass in the pasture. A lot of times we don’t know that our reasoning is flawed, but when we actually begin to use reason we realize how poor our thinking process was before. There are tons of folks in our culture who think they have a lot of brains and are the smartest people on the block. Yet, their reasoning is so upside down and perverted. And they point fingers our way to criticize the Christian’s foundation for reasoning, saying we are leaning on a crutch of blind faith.
Paul was accused of being “insane” or “mad,” but in reality he was the one speaking words of truth and reason (Acts 26:24-25). Because his foundation was squarely on God and His word, Paul’s thoughts were sound and his conclusions were valid. When we leave God and take the glory and honor for ourselves, our reasoning is turned into madness (Romans 1:18-32; Ephesians 4:17-24). This is the story of our culture and of any culture that walks away from God. When we are lifted up in our own pride, our thoughts lead ourselves and others into total darkness and destruction.
However, when we humble ourselves before God, our thinking becomes clear and enlightened. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, Proverbs teaches us (Proverbs 1:5). When your mind is set on God’s word, it doesn’t make you less intelligent. Being a believer in God doesn’t make you backward and stupid, it makes you the smartest guy in the room (don’t go around saying that, though).
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.
The apostle Paul was very concerned about the brethren in Colossae and Laodicea because they were being cheated by man’s philosophy. Here are two final passages for your encouragement. Man’s reasoning may seem smart at first, but when you come to the light of God’s word, your reasoning will return to you.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.