Pride: The Case of Nebuchadnezzar – Gospel in Life

Pride: The Case of Nebuchadnezzar

Tim Keller |  February 5, 1995

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  • Sin
Daniel 4:24-37
RS 57-3


Nebuchadnezzar’s pride began in contentment and prosperity, but he had no peace of mind. It caused him to take credit for everything he’d achieved. God dehumanized him in a reflection of what pride had done to his heart. Only when he recognized his debt to God – and that he was the object of God’s mercy – could he be humbled and healed of his pride.

Daniel 4:24–37

This passage tells the story of Nebuchadnezzar, a powerful king who, despite all his achievements, was brought down by his own pride. His journey shows us the dangers of letting our ego go unchecked, and the healing power of humbly recognizing our faults and praising God for His grace. It’s a wake-up call about the sneakiness of pride and encourages us to check if we’re letting arrogance color our views.

1. Sleep

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a tree being cut down, which represented a warning about his downfall due to his pride. He didn’t take this warning to heart, and a year later, his pride did lead to his downfall. His story is a reminder that true happiness and success don’t come from material things, but from understanding our humble position before God, who’s the only source of true contentment.

2. The heart of pride

Pride, especially when it makes us overlook God’s role in our lives, can do a lot of harm. It’s important to know the difference between this kind of pride and feeling proud of our achievements in a good way. Real humility comes when we see everything we have as gifts we don’t deserve, and we’re grateful for them. We should also remember that our talents and blessings are gifts from God, not things we’ve achieved all by ourselves.

3. The outcome of pride

Nebuchadnezzar turned into an animal, showing us how pride can destroy our humanity and keep us from caring about others. It makes us compare ourselves to others, feel insecure, and think we deserve more than we do, which can make us bitter when we don’t get what we want. In the end, letting pride run wild can make us less human, blocking our ability to feel real happiness and empathy.

4. The healing of pride

Getting over pride requires God’s help, just like Nebuchadnezzar’s transformation or the character Eustace in the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. This means realizing we don’t deserve anything, seeing our blessings as gifts from God, and showing humility by being generous. When we give up control and admit that God is the one guiding our lives, we can truly feel His love and value for us.



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