Sometimes God Puts You In Time Out!

Has your teacher or parents ever put you in time out as a child. They don’t come with a strong discipline like spanking you, but you have to go to a corner or to your room for a period of time. Time out is defined as: “a form of behavioral modification that involves temporarily separating a person from an environment where unacceptable behavior has occurred. The goal is to remove that person from an enriched, enjoyable environment, and therefore lead to extinction of the offending behavior.” Well, sometimes God has to put us in “time out” to lead to extinction of our offensive behavior.” Time out is not given to destroy you, but to restore you that you may give honor to whom honor is due.

A prime example of “time out” given by God is Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. God had blessed Nebuchadnezzar exceedingly and abundantly above all nations. But, one night, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him, but no one could interpret it but the prophet Daniel. Daniel interpreted the dream as God had revealed it to him.

He told the king as follows: “God has given you dominion over his people Israel (because of their disobedience) as well as dominion over all other nations. God has made you strong like a tree that has grown large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth with beautiful leaves and an abundance of fruit, providing food for all. You give shelter to the beasts of the field, and a nesting place in the branches for the birds of the air. You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to the distant parts of the earth.” But God is sending an angel to hew down this tree with only the stump remaining.

It’s interesting that a warning always precedes a time out! A child is usually given a time out not on the first offense but because they did not obey what they were told to do or not to do. God’s time outs do not come because of ignorance but because you were warned and chose not to obey. Daniel tells the king although God will cut the tree down, He will not completely destroy it, but a stump will remain to get his honor back to God. He will live like a wild animal without human consciousness in the fields eating grass for seven years.

Daniel’s warning to king Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:27 is: “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening to thy tranquility.” King Nebuchadnezzar does not take heed to Daniel’s warning and is put in “time out” for seven years.

At the end of seven years, this is what king Nebuchadnezzar writes in Daniel 4:34-37: “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praise and honored Him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: …  At the same time my reason returned unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, al whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and that walk in pride He is able to abase.”

Time out made king Nebuchadnezzar a better man and king. Let God’s time out in your life give you time to reconsider your ways and become a better you in the process!

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