Sunday, January 31, 2016

King of the World?

Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.        Daniel 2:20-21  NKJV

A thought occurred to me this past week as I was watching and reading all the news concerning the upcoming debates, caucuses, etc. which concern themselves with the race for the presidency of the United States.  That thought was this; why do you never see a race for the vice-presidency?  Do you suppose it is because no one really wants to be number two?  After all, who wants to run for second place, play the super bowl to be the loser, or compete in anything just for the glory of being the runner up?  So what really made me smile this week was the realization that this is, in reality, exactly what we are seeing in the upcoming elections, and truthfully what we see around the world as leaders of other nations attempt to gain power. 

A perfect example of this can be found in the book of Daniel, one of my favorite books of the Bible, and one that I encourage you to become familiar with if you have not already done so.  In this book we find Daniel, a young boy, taken into captivity along with the nation of Israel by the Babylonian Empire, and transported to what would now be modern day Iraq to serve as slaves.  This captivity would last for seventy years as a punishment to the nation of Israel by God for their disobedience to Him.  The King at that time was named Nebuchadnezzar, and for all intents and purposes, he considered himself to be, and more than likely could be described as, the King of the World.

Yet while he might have thought of himself that way, and the rest of the world as well, Daniel tells us that there was a harsh reality waiting for Nebuchadnezzar which would literally cut him down to size.  You see, while man might believe that they can rule the world, the reality is that no matter how big they get or how much of the world they manage to control, they are still number two.

“But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. “Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.      Daniel 5:20-21  NKJV

There have been reports lately concerning the plans of the president after he leaves office next year, and the speculation that his desire is to serve as the leader of the United Nations.  Many of the articles that discuss this possibility contain the phrase “King of the World”.  As I read this I could not help but laugh at the idea that someone could consider the possibility of actually being able to rule a world with so many diverse cultures, religions, and political ambitions.  Not to mention the fact that the Bible seems to make it perfectly clear that there is only one true King.  Yet to be completely honest, the Bible also tells us that there will come one individual who will not only make the attempt, but will truly believe he can pull it off.

I find it ironic that it is again, Daniel, who tells us in the context of Nebuchadnezzar’s humbling, that another will come and attempt the very thing God showed could not be done.

“Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. “He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. “But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. “Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.   Daniel 11:36-39  NKJV

This is, of course, a description of the coming world leader most commonly called the antichrist.  This name is appropriate when you read in this passage that he blasphemes the name of God, and exalts himself instead, considering himself to be a god.  So once again, just as in Daniel’s time, God acts to show who the King who rules truly is, and the power that only He can control.  Is it any wonder that this period of time is called the “wrath of God”, the “time of trouble”, the “Great Tribulation”, etc? 

“At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. “He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. “He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. “He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. “But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. “And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.                           Daniel 11:40-45  NKJV

While God appoints leaders to rule on earth, none should ever forget who the King of the world really is.  No matter the position or title, “the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.” Fortunately for the Church, and all who believe in the saving blood of Jesus Christ, thanks to an event called the rapture, we will be taken home to be with the Father before He pours out His wrath on the earth, and those who would believe they could be"King of the World".  If you have yet to make the choice to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, I urge you to do it today.  Simply ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and tell Him you believe He has the power to save you by virtue of the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.       
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.   Psalms 33:10-11  NKJV

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