Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8


The Danger of Self-Sufficiency

Study Nebuchadnezzar's dream as recorded in the fourth chapter of Daniel. The king saw a lofty tree planted in the earth. Flocks and herds from the mountains and hills enjoyed its shelter, and the birds of the air built their nests in its branches. Thus were represented Nebuchadnezzar's greatness and prosperity. Nations were gathered under his sovereignty. His kingdom was firmly established in the hearts of his loyal subjects. 8T 126.3

The king saw his prosperity, and because of it he was lifted up. Notwithstanding the warnings that God had given him, he did the very things which the Lord had told him not to do. He looked upon his kingdom with pride and exclaimed: “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” Daniel 4:30. The instant that the words were uttered, the sentence of judgment was pronounced. The king's reason was taken away. The judgment that he had thought so perfect, the wisdom that he had prided himself on possessing, were removed. The jewel of the mind, that which elevates man above the beasts, he no longer retained. 8T 126.4

The scepter is no longer held in the hand of a proud and powerful monarch. The mighty ruler is a maniac. He now herds with the cattle to eat as they eat. He is a companion of the beasts of the field. The brow that once wore a coronet is disfigured by the absence of reason and intellect. The mandate has gone forth: “Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit.” Verse 14. 8T 127.1

So the Lord magnifies Himself as the true and living God. Well might David exclaim: “I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.” Psalm 37:35, 36. Let men become lifted up in pride, and the Lord will not sustain them and keep them from falling. Let a church become proud and boastful, not depending on God, not exalting His power, and that church will surely be left by the Lord, to be brought down to the ground. Let a people glory in wealth, intellect, knowledge, or in anything but Christ, and they will soon be brought to confusion. 8T 127.2