WEEK 11- King Nebuchadnezzar

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

     28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.  29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?"

     31 The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.  32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle.  Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."

     33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled.  He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle.  His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

     34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored.  Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.  His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.

     35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing.  He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.  No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"

     36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom.  My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.  37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just.  And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Daniel 4:28-37

What does this passage have to say about humility?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) What was King Nebuchadnezzar’s statement at the beginning of the passage (v. 30)?  In what was he boasting?  What happened to him, as a result?  What does that teach us about power (v. 32b)?

2) What is the king’s statement at the end of the passage (v. 37)?  In what is he boasting?  Does he complain about his punishment?  Why not (v. 37)?  In being humbled, what has he learned about God?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

3) How do you “boast in the Lord”?  Are you afraid to do it because of what others might think?  Should we be concerned about how others view it?  About what should we be concerned?

4) In what ways can an athlete “boast in the Lord”?  What opportunities does your team have to do this?  Do you typically choose to do so?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

5) A traditional way of motivating or “pumping up” our teams is by talking about all of the great things we have accomplished.  After you’ve read this passage about King Nebuchadnezzar, maybe that doesn’t seem like such a good idea.  Is it?  Is doing those things OK?  Why or why not?

FRIDAY — Discuss sport applications of humility, and pray together.

· Ask your athletes to briefly reflect on what they’ve learned about humility this week, and to repeat some of those things.  (Remind them of some of the Biblical truths about humility you’ve discussed, if necessary.)

· Ask your team, “Based on what we learned about humility this week...What does a humble athlete do?”  Do not settle for vague answers; challenge your athletes to go beyond general qualities of a humble athlete, and to determine what those qualities look like in action.

· Add the results to your team’s list of descriptions of the “humble athlete”, and be sure the list is displayed somewhere that is constantly visible, as a reminder to the team.

· Pray together as a team.  Encourage your athletes to pray for your team’s growth in regard to the discipline of humility — especially in relation to some of the issues and challenges that you discussed together this week.  Challenge them to also ask for forgiveness, when applicable.  Give time for athletes to request prayer (regarding humility or anything else), and pray together.

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