Yesterday, we read most of the way through the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 4:1-33). The king dreamed of a tree – the symbol of created order, given by the gods and maintained by the king. (In other words, he dreamed of himself.) But the tree was cut down, sent mad, and forced to live like a wild beast, in one of the weirdest mixed-metaphors of the Bible. The message to Nebuchadnezzar was: because you’ve been proud- thinking that your status, power, and wealth is all your own doing – you’ll be cut down, sent mad, and driven out of your position and away from human society. And you’ll live like that until you repent of your pride, and acknowledge the sovereignty of God.
As one writer puts it: “A man who thinks he is like a god must become a beast to learn that he is only a human being” (Danna Nolan Fewell, Circle of Sovereignty, p.101).