Pastor Jim Stultz
Cut Down to Size
We really loved the maple tree in our front yard when we lived in Indiana. The shade was welcome and the fall colors were beautiful. However it began to be a problem. Its roots grew into our sewer pipe and I had to call someone to clean it out. I didn’t want to have a repeat of the same problem so it was time to cut down the tree. I watched as the young guy cut branch after branch, limb after limb, and finally cut the main trunk and ground down the stump. Our front yard maple tree was no more.
Sometimes people need to be cut down to size. Daniel chapter 4 gives us the account of King Nebuchadnezzar. He was beginning to let his power go to his head. Even when God through Daniel warned him through a dream about the danger of his arrogance he continued with his pride and brazen claims. The king dreamed of a great tree whose branches reached out far and benefited so many. Then the king saw as the tree was cut down. Daniel told the king that he was the tree and one day he would be cut down to size. Twelve months later the king was taking a walk in his royal palace and admiring the great city. He said in Daniel 4:29-31: “Is not this great Babylon that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?" While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you”. The king lost his kingship for 7 years as he was stricken with madness.
Many in our day are stricken with the Nebuchadnezzar syndrome. They feel that they are above rebuke. Their brazen arrogance looks at the world as revolving around them. In our Babylonian culture it seems that some wear their arrogance as some sort of superpower. Where has the virtue of humility gone? Where has the fear of the Lord gone? It doesn’t matter if you are a king, a president, a military leader, or a pastor; the Almighty God is able to cut you down to size. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord today.