Michael Myers scared the willies out of me at the campground last weekend!
I’ve heard about Trick or Treating at Jenny Wiley for the last few years. I thought it sounded neat and pictured five campers lined up in a little row with about 20 kids running around in costumes. Holy Smokes! It was like Las Vegas! There were a zillion people! Campers were fully decorated and their owners were dressed up, too! Many had scary themes with clowns, monsters and other bizarre stuff. There were even several haunted houses set up. Kids were everywhere, having the best time ever. IT WAS AWESOME!
But…there was this one haunted house…I was talking to some friends at the doorway of it. I had ZERO plans to go in. I glanced around as we talked. Several creepy monsters were inside. Someone was in the back sitting behind a table. It was Michael Myers! He had on a full mask that went all the way down his neck. He wore coveralls with lots of padding-or maybe they were muscles-I’m still nervous just talking about it.
Michael saw me, too! He crooked his finger trying to get me to come into the haunted house. No way, Jose!
I was pretty sure I knew who “Michael Myers” really was. I laughed and waved my hand like I didn’t care at all. Surely we were getting ready to move to the next camper! Michael stood up v-e-r-y slowly, still staring straight at me. He motioned again. Though we were several yards away, I took a step back.
Michael moved from behind the table and walked with big, strong, scary steps right toward me. I was gone! “See you guys later!” I called as I walked away quick as a cat! Whew! Praise the Lord it was still daylight!
There were lots of scary faces and creatures to be seen. Thank goodness they were all pretend! But, did you know there’s a story about a monster in the Bible? A man turned into a monster and then turned back!
For real! Daniel chapter four tells the TRUE story of King Nebuchadnezzar. It’s a perfect story for this time of year! First, he had a dream that absolutely terrified him. He called all the wise men in his kingdom to explain the dream but no one could. Finally, Daniel interpreted it.
The good news: Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom had grown to the ends of the earth. The bad news: he had gotten full of himself and trouble was coming his way! God was trying to get his attention.
Daniel hated to tell him the last part… “You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times (years) will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all…” Neb must’ve needed a minute to take all that in!
Daniel was very concerned and blurted out, “Turn from your sins and wickedness and maybe it won’t be so bad!” There was time to make a change! Yay! Thank goodness there was time to change!
Twelve months later…King Nebuchadnezzar was walking on the roof of his palace in Babylon. As he admired all he had and all he had done, 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?” (I picture him saying it with outstretched arms and a dramatic, booming voice.) Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you…Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. 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,” verses 29-33. Dude!
We studied this lesson at the jail on Sunday. I called it “Don’t be a Monster!” It can apply to our lives, too, no matter where we are! Nebuchadnezzar had grown great and powerful. He was at his very best, high on the hog, in all his glory. He was only concerned about himself. God gave him a warning to change…to turn. Oh, he was plenty scared at first, and probably planned to change but then time passed and he didn’t even think of it after a while. Before he knew it, a year had passed. Nothing had changed, except the size of his ego. Suddenly, he was transformed into the beast he must have been inside. Driven away from people, living with wild animals, eating grass, hair like feathers of an eagle and nails like claws. Move over Freddie Kruger! And God let him stay there until he acknowledged that God was really King of all. (It took seven years. SEVEN years! He must have been stubborn!)
God is long-suffering. He knows what we are capable of and what is best for us. He is not one bit afraid of cutting us back (or pruning us) if necessary. If we are self-absorbed and only think of ourselves, we will end up being a monster and not in our right mind. King Nebuchadnezzar said, “When I raised my eyes toward heaven, my sanity was restored.” Preach it, Neb!
Read the whole true story in Daniel chapter four! It may sound like someone you know/are!