Just recently doing some study in the book of Daniel and a passage stood out to me like a sore thumb. The passage was Daniel 4:28-36. This passage deals with king Nebuchadnezzar's second dream which was about a great tree that is cut down. I put a blog entry about the details of that dream in another post. That blog entry deals with the subject of pride. So, make sure you check it out if you are struggling with pride and humility.
What is so interesting about the passage is it holds a view of God's sovereignty and parallels an image of time to that of the tribulation. First, under the subject of God's sovereignty, this passage illustrates that God gives to whomever He will, whatever He desires. God removed king Nebuchadnezzar from his position as king and allowed him to graze in the fields like an ox because of his prideful position.
King Nebuchadnezzar was king of the Babylonians which included the Chaldeans. These people were ruthless people. They took what they wanted, when they wanted it, and used it however they wanted to. They were an evil people overall. But if we recollect the Biblical account, we see that the Babylonians had overtaken the Jewish people and their land. It was Habakkuk that cried out to God asking why He would let a more evil people such as the Chaldeans overtake His chosen people. You can see the account in Habakkuk 1:2-11. The Jews had refused to repent and obey the Lord, so (as Jeremiah had warned) the Babylonian army came in 606–586 B.C. and conquered the land. We can learn an important truth from this. You see, just because you think you are better than someone else doesn't mean you have it all together and within the blessings of God. God's standard is the only standard you can be measured by.
The other area that stands out concerning this passage is the picture of what will happen to the nations in the latter days. The nations will be boasting of their greatness and glory (sound familiar?) and then God will send seven years of horrible judgment upon them. At the end of the seven year period, Christ will return to earth to establish His kingdom. Those that have trusted Him will enter into it; the others will be cast out. Like Nebuchadnezzar, the believers will be converted from their pride and unbelief and will enjoy the blessing of God.
This is not necessarily a passage predicting the tribulation but definitely gives us a picture of the confusion and chaos that will accompany it.