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Lead By Humility

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Lead by Humility

Negative example:  Pride – Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4)

Positive example:  Humility – Daniel

Lesson:  Being a servant-leader means that you act out of humility and not pride.


Negative example:  Pride – Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4)

                Who was Nebuchadnezzar?

·         Greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonian kings

·         A great conqueror – fought against Israel, Egypt, Phoenicia

·         Probably had one of the greatest empires ever

·         Had a large group of human laborers

·         Had his laborers construct many magnificent buildings

·         An able but cruel ruler

Let’s enter into a story that Nebuchadnezzar is going to tell us in Daniel 4 (4:1-3)

                Nebuchadnezzar sets us up for a story that he is going to tell of something that happened in his life.  Something that helped him to realize how great God was.

SCENE 1:  Neb.’s palace – the revealing of his dream (4:4-18)

·         vs. 4 -- Neb has defeated the last of his foes, the Egyptians, and now he’s just “hanging out,” at rest, content and secure in his palace – no one can touch him there.

o   The New England Patriots – if they happen to beat everyone and win the Super Bowl – go home realizing there is no one left to beat.


·         vs. 5 --All of a sudden, his whole world is shattered by a dream that left this mighty, powerful man shaking

o   A man who at his any whim could take someone out and destroy whatever stood in his way, now made powerless by a dream!


·         vs. 6-8 – He’s scared, so he brings in all his “smart” men to help him out with the dream – what in the world does it mean

o   again, none of them can help him out until . . .

o   Daniel, who had succeeded before, comes in.


·         vs. 9-18 – Neb retells his dream to Daniel

o   he dreamed of a tiny tree that grew to be a huge tree that provided fruit for all the beasts and covering for all the birds

o   a “holy one” from heaven then comes down, cuts the tree down to the stump, and puts a fence-like structure around it to protect it.

o   Then the dream changes over to a man (who was the tree) being changed into a beast until 7 times (days, weeks, months, years) go by.  The purpose was so that the man realizes that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whoever he wants to, even men who aren’t that tough.




Scene 2:  The Interpretation of the Dream (19-27)

·         Daniel is troubled about the dream

·         Daniel tells Neb that the tree in the dream was him – increasing in power more than anyone else on earth

·         Vs. 26 – Daniel reassures him that his kingdom would still be intact

·         Vs. 27 – Daniel urges him to repent and do good – use some of his resources to help out others

. . .12 months pass by. . .

Scene 3:  The Dream Carried Out (18-37)

·         Neb is out walking in his palace – maybe looking out from the rooftop at the kingdom, seeing the famous hanging gardens

·         Vs. 30 – “I did all this, didn’t I?”

·         A voice from heaven calls out and Neb becomes insane -- Inflicted with lycanthropy?  -- change of a man into a wolf/cattle?

·         Neb finally gets his mind back and immediately praises God and accepts the fact that God is in charge and uses whoever He wants

Where is a positive example of servant leadership in all this – Neb lead with pride and selfishness.  There is a humble servant-leader in the story though, Daniel.  Let’s look at his life some for a good example.

Lead by Humility

Positive example:  Humility – Daniel

·         After 1st dream revealed, Daniel gives credit to God in prayer – 2:20-23

·         Daniel gives credit to God in front of men – 2:28-30

·         Daniel thought of others’ good, not just his own – 2:49

·         Daniel had a reputation of being sold out for God – 6:4-5

·         Daniel showed his humility by asking God for forgiveness for himself and the people – 9:3-19

2 men – 2 different leadership styles – 1 a prideful leader, the other humble.  1 God approved of, the other ate grass.

You need to be a leader who leads by humility!

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