Showing posts with the label Empire

Transitory Power

Despite human pretensions, history demonstrates the impermanence of political power and governments. Rome endured for a thousand years, but its empire fell all the same. Like life itself, political power is fleeting, and it often collapses quickly and unexpectedly when its allotted time expires. Only the reign and realm of God will last forever.

No Neutrality

In the book of Revelation , humanity is divided into two and only two camps – those who follow Jesus “ wherever he goes ,” and those who give their allegiance to the “ Beast from the Sea .” Members of the former group will not participate in the “ Second Death ,” but everyone without exception who takes the beastly mark will experience it in the “ Lake of Fire .” THERE IS NO THIRD OPTION .

To Whom Homage?

Satan tempted Jesus with political power over “ all the kingdoms of the world .” But the man from Nazareth refused the offer. Instead of might and grandeur, he submitted to the way of the ‘ Suffering Servant .’ But the most startling detail is that he did not dispute the Devil’s claim to have jurisdiction over the political systems of the world.

Babylon Rides the Beast

Babylon, the Great Harlot, for centuries has ridden the Beast from the Sea and its seven heads and ten horns  – Revelation 17:7-13.  Cosmic “ Babylon ” sits on the same malignant creature that John saw earlier “ ascending from the sea .” It combines the four “ beasts from the sea ” presented in the book of  Daniel . Now, we discover its “lineage” and preview its destruction described with language from Daniel’s vision of the “ fourth beast ” and the “ little horn .”

Bear and Leopard - Identities

In Daniel’s vision, how do we identify the second and third kingdoms, the Bear and the Leopard ?  In his vision, Daniel saw “ four beasts   ascending ” from the sea. The first three featured characteristics from the animal kingdom - the winged lion, the bear, and the leopard with two pairs of wings.

Dream of the King

Only Daniel is able to reveal the troubling dream of the Babylonian King, unveiling the future of kings and empires  – Daniel 2:1-49.  The second and third chapters present a single story told in two parts. First, Nebuchadnezzar dreams of an enormous image composed of several materials, which Daniel interprets, demonstrating the sovereignty of God over history. Second, the king attempts to implement his dream by erecting a great golden image in the “ plain of Dura. ”

Land of Shinar

The book of Daniel calls Babylon the “ land of Shinar ,” a verbal link to the Tower of Babel and the founding of the original city that became Babylon. That incident is echoed again in the third chapter when Nebuchadnezzar gathers all nations and peoples to pay homage to the great golden image that he “ set up .”

Empires Rise and Fall

Imperial hubris is the legacy of the Tower of Babel, humanity’s first but certainly not the last attempt to establish the World Empire . The Tower of Babel incident is echoed in  Daniel  when the ruler of  “ Shinar ” gathers all nations to worship his great image  in the “ Plain of Dura .” His empire was not a new entity, but the latest incarnation of Satan’s plan to control humanity, one that has been underway since human civilization began.

Next Imperial Power

After the overthrow of the Babylonian kingdom, the new ruler appointed Daniel as his chief officer over the other civil servants of the city. This caused resentment among the other officials, so a conspiracy was hatched to destroy by trapping Daniel with his own words, even ensnaring the unwitting king in the plot.

Head of Gold Shattered

The events recorded in the fifth chapter occurred on the eve of the city’s conquest by the “ Medes and Persians .” That night, the king hosted a feast “ for a thousand of his lords ” who “ tasted wine ” from the vessels looted from the Jerusalem Temple by Nebuchadnezzar, all while praising the false gods of the empire.

God Grants Sovereignty

God gave the kingdom of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, but He also equipped Daniel and his companions for service in the court of Babylon .  In its opening paragraph, the book of  Daniel  labels Babylon the “ land of Shinar ,” a verbal link to the “ tower of Babel ” incident.   The Neo-Babylonian Empire has an ancient pedigree, and like his ancient forbears, Nebuchadnezzar determined to unite all men under one language and one government so all men might render homage to his great golden image.