In the eyes of the people, a leader or a government is installed legitimately or illegitimately. We rejoice when our political party wins an election, we moan and groan and call foul play when our party loses. On our continent, challenges are often in the context of a “rigged or stolen election”. There are voices are heard shouting “spoilt voting ballots, fraudulent voting ballots and lost voting ballots”. In the last USA election it seems as though the cry was “manipulated voting system” in certain states. It’s always a hard pill to swallow, especially when one is Christian and we “know” the party we vote for is the best option for the state (country). What we seldom do is search the Scriptures to see what God says about the leader (political party) who wins the election. Not only did Jesus walk the dusty streets of Palestine in the First Century … the Christian Church was birthed in this Century and the New Testament section of the Bible was completed by the end of the same Century. Passages like the following one are skimmed through or overlooked. Some even try to insist that the New Testament is only the Gospels to prevent accepting the rest of the New Testament as Biblical and binding upon them.
Ro 13:1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Believing the Bible to be God’s inerrant, inspired and authoritative Word is the dividing line between Biblical Christianity and Christianity. Believing the Bible means you agree …
(1) God appoints all governing authorities v1. It’s not whether I like them, want them or support them. It’s not whether the election was rigged or stolen. God ultimately appoints the governing authorities. At times this is for blessings and at other times this is for hardship or punishment, but God appoints all authorities.
(2) God will hold every governing authority to account. It is not just the husband and the pastor who will give an account on the Day of Judgment, the governing authorities will do so too. It does not matter whether they believed in Jesus or not … they will stand before the Bar of Heaven and be judged. If they stole the power through whatever means … rigged election, military takeover or through theft, God will hold them to account.
(3) All governing authorities are God’s servants of blessing v4. When people do the right thing as good citizens they will receive blessing through living a peaceful and happy life.
(4) All governing authorities are God’s servants of wrath v4. When the people rebel against the authorities, the authorities have God’s permission to punish them.
(5) All rebellion against all governing authorities is direct rebellion against God v 2 & 5. You can calculate how many you see on the news media opening defying the governing authorities. When we break the government’s laws, whether we like them or not, we are sinning against God who appointed the government in His place!
1) Now that we have seen the four beasts and who they are, we see Daniel’s dream / vision / receiving words from God continuing.
Da 7:8 “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
These horns captivate Daniel. He gave serious thought to what the meaning of these horns are. As he did this, from amongst these horns a smaller horn appears.
(1) The little horn makes war against the people of God and defeats them!
Da 7:21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them.
One must not be led astray by the “smallness” of this horn. This horn is a kingdom and its power is centered in its king represented by “eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully”. We will get to the interpretation later in the chapter.
(2) This horn (kingdom) ‘uprooted” … the first three horns (kingdom). Many good commentators believe this small horn representing a small kingdom whose power was vested in Antiochus Epiphanes. He was a Greek Hellenistic king, the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire. He conquered Ptolemy Philometor, Ptolemy Euergetes and Artarxia, king of Armenia.
(3) The “eyes of a man” are intended to show us that this is a man and nothing more.
(4) The “mouth that spoke” was proud and presumptuous, showing this small horn (man) to be filled with pride and self-exaltation, which are the characteristics of this small horn (kingdom).
(5) The fourth beast had ten horns (v7). It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. This fourth kingdom is the Roman Empire, which agrees with all the symbolism of the passage. The ten horns seem to indicate the essential unity and ideology of the fourth kingdom for the future. It seems as through once the fall of the Roman Empire these ten successive kings splinter off into their kingdoms. It’s difficult to explain this just as it is difficult to see how the Roman Empire found its origin in the Medo-Persian Empire or the Medo- Persian Empire found its origin in the Babylonian Empire, etc. Yet from these arise the small horn (kingdom) represented by its king who becomes the uncontested world leader. Until the end of time, human government is given the appearance of the Roman Empire!
2 Th 2:3 for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
In these days, help us Your people to be faithful to You Lord. Amen.