"'This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. 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. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.'" NIV translation
The full meaning of the nightmare is made known as judgment is pronounced on King Nebuchadnezzar. Even in this judgment there is hope as Daniel pleads for the king to repent and acknowledge the hand of God at work in the lives of men. He even tells the king that it could possibly be avoided if he would repent immediately. We notice also that this is not simply reciting some words but is backed up by action. The same thing is true for us today in that genuine repentance will be accompanied by action and not simply saying some words.
"All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 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?'" NIV translation
The number twelve, throughout the Bible, is associated with the display of divine authority and here we see that twelve months after his vision the king is still denying God's power. The king still does not acknowledge the fact that God had him there. We may be quick to criticize the king but we must ask ourselves if we don't do the same thing sometimes. It is easy to forget to give the credit to God when He lifts us up and blesses us.
"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. 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.' 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." NIV translation
As soon as he spoke this blasphemy, he was reminded of the judgment that had been promised and it was swiftly executed. I am sure that the king did not expect this swift judgment as he climbed up to the roof.
In the same way, we walk around many days without remembering that Jesus could come back at any moment.