6-16-24: Man Becomes Beast

Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.” Daniel 4:33

Like fire from heaven falling on Sodom, judgment falls on Nebuchadnezzar. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” is not just
true of the rapture. Nebuchadnezzar speaks words of self-righteous pride from his heart, his sin cup is full, God speaks from heaven and in an instant God’s judgment falls.
Immediately The word means in that moment, while or suddenly. People who think they will wait until the last minute before accepting Christ, take heed. When judgment falls there is no time to react.
The word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar In a split second, God’s word is carried out. The mighty God of the Universe changes the king’s mind from that of a man to an animal’s.
He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven Everything God decreed would happen occurred. Not one word of judgment was left unfulfilled. For those who think hell will not be as awful as described in Scripture, take note. God’s word is true.
Till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws. God sends His judgment and Nebuchadnezzar begins to function as an animal. Scripture gives us the long term effects of this punishment. His hair became uncut and unkempt, it grew long as eagles’ feathers (an adult eagle’s feathers grow to 12-17 inches). His uncut nails grew long and curled under like bird’s claws. Make no mistake about it, Nebuchadnezzar’s punishment is an act of God. When Nebuchadnezzar first dreamed of this punishment and then heard the interpretation from Daniel, he likely thought it as too far-fetched to be true. Like people read of the coming judgments in Revelation and think they will never happen, Nebuchadnezzar did not believe this would happen to him. Now he is an animal in his own mind.
Modern medicine gives us insight into this particular condition. There is a very rare condition called Zoanthropy. This condition causes a person to believe that he or she is an animal. Two types exist. The first is called Lycanthropy in which a person thinks and acts wolflike. This may be the source of the werewolf myth. The second type of Zoanthropy is termed Boanthropy in which a person thinks and acts like a cow or ox. Both of these conditions are very rare. Since 1850 there have been less than sixty recorded cases in the world. (This may be why Nebuchadnezzar thought this punishment was impossible – it was virtually unheard of.) The cases last anywhere from a few hours to decades in length. The descriptions of
Nebuchadnezzar’s condition (living in the fields and eating grass) leads us to believe he thought he was a cow or an ox.
There are two other facts that are important to this story. First in Nebuchadnezzar’s reign there is a period of seven years from 582—575 BC when there is no government activity recorded. While this does not prove this story, it supports it. Second, it is interesting that while the king was in this condition, he was not replaced by one of his advisors. In a time when there would be many who would like to be king and it would be easy to form a coup, Nebuchadnezzar was not replaced. This reinforces the fact that Daniel, one of the significant
leaders in Babylon knew that God promised after seven years, if the king repented, his kingdom would be restored to him. So it is likely that God’s man in the Babylonian leadership spent seven years praying for the repentance and restoration of a king that he loved and wanted to see come to God while at the same time protecting his throne from usurpers.
What a great picture of God fulfilling his word – both in the judgment of sin He meted out and in the forgiveness and restoration of the repentant to the throne he had vacated. Never doubt that God is in
control and is all-powerful.