Just a Thought: A stump? Chop down the tree and leave a stump?
I bet it was as hard for ol’ king Neb. to hear as it was for Daniel to say. In Daniel chapter 4, king Nebuchadnezzar has another one of his mysterious dreams and Daniel is called upon to deliver the news.
In our times, it is similar to talking with a friend about how things have been going and trying to remind him that God is trying to get his attention.
The king (like many of those we talk to) hears what Daniel has to say. (God is trying to show you he is in control and desires a personal relationship with you that requires you to acknowledge He is Lord, and you are to submit to His will, not your own).
The king does hear Daniel, but even so, he does nothing but wait to see if God is really going to do anything. One year passes, and God’s patience runs out.
God acts; the king is crushed. The good news is: The king finally does submit, and God restores him.
Let’s be clear: God is patient, but when you know He has spoken to you or is trying to get your attention, the time to act is then, before he has to take action that reduces you and brings you to your knees.
Secondly, even if God doesn’t take action as soon as we sin, that doesn’t mean He won’t act. In fact, He will and many times in drastic and dramatic fashion because of our own resistance to do what we know is right.
Finally, God does not want to ruin us; His desire is to right us (right us with Him and His will for us). Once He does, we are always so glad he cared enough to do it. Take it from the king Himself (after going through this very thing: "It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me." (Daniel 4:2)
Dr. William Burnham is pastor of Point of Grace Church in Covington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.