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Dare to Be a Daniel (Part 94)

If you know me well you most likely think I talk too much. You might be right! Some people say very little. Either they can’t or won’t express their feelings about certain matters. I opt towards explaining the full picture so that people know what’s happening. I reason like this … “Truth must be told if people want to be in the light as to what happens around them.” The Divine Messenger speaking in these last chapters of Daniel wants the truth to be told. This truth points to the future and how it will affect and influence the known world, the people of God in exile as well as their return from exile … but it speaks deeper and further into history as to what will be happening. As prophecy is always futuristic, people, especially the people of God, need to be actively concerned about history unfolding as it relates to proper Biblical exegesis. Back to “Dare to be a Daniel”

Da 11:2 “Three more kings will appear in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece.”

1) Changes in Super Powers.

(1) Some see this as

  1. Cyrus
  2. Cambyses
  3. Darius
  4. Xerxes

(2) Others, which seems a better interpretation, feel that as the text says three more kings appear in Persia … that is after Cyrus, then a fourth …

  1. Cambyses
  2. Smerdis
  3. Darius
  4. Xerxes

This is where good exegesis comes in … you see, we all know that there were more than four kings after Cyrus … but the Divine Messenger wants us to focus on four important, historical epochs (era, age or period) that follow Cyrus. If we started with Cyrus there would be five epochs …

  1. Cyrus
  2. Cambyses
  3. Smerdis
  4. Darius
  5. Xerxes

The last mentioned than would be the one using his riches to raise up a powerful military machine that was well maintained … which made him a formidable power.

2) Alexander the Great.

Da 11:3 “Then a mighty king will appear, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases.”

The reason for Alexander is because of the adjective “mighty” … Alexander the “Great”. His real name is Alexander III of Macedon. He succeeded his father Philip II, who was assassinated. He was twenty when he became king in 336 BC, reigning until 323 BC. He was about 32 years old at the time of his death. By the time he was 30 his kingdom stretched from Greece to northeastern India. This was due to lengthy military campaigns. He was credited as one of the most successful military commanders … never defeated in battle!

3) Breaking up and diving of a kingdom.

(1) The first phrase … “after he appeared” suggests the brevity of his reign and kingdom. As mentioned above he was 32 at death. Right here we find a caution to us all. There is no guarantee of long life, for in the midst of life we are in death! You might enjoy riding on the “crest of the wave”, but remember the wave will pass. Enjoy life whist you have life but ensure your enjoyment is in Jesus for without Him enjoyment is counterfeit.

(2) Nothing lasts forever! As with every earthly kingdom, none last! The kingdom of Hitler ended. The kingdom of the USSR ended. The apartheid kingdom ended. Many others have and many others will, even in our time. Alexander’s kingdom was short lived … “his empire will be broken up”. It did not occur immediately he died but soon afterwards this massive kingdom was no more. In our lives we could think of personal empires and churches. Once we die they are no more! Think of a personal estate … you die and your home, furniture and car get sold. That “little kingdom” ends. A Church might flourish under God’s good hand, yet once leadership changes come that Church might not enjoy God’s presence and end.

(3) Others enjoy your labors. The description of how the dividing up occurs is interesting … and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven.

(a) A parcel gives the impression of being wrapped up and sent or taken away.

(b) The four winds of heaven simply means the kingdom would be parceled or divided into four. This is the reality of kingdoms as they end … divided and distributed. It true with every estate as well! Before we get to the distribution of the “parceled” out pieces … no one, no leader, no wealthy person … no one is able to take any part of their possessions with them into eternity. One of the great levelers in the Bible is Job’s words after he lost all his children as well as all his assets … he says:

Da 11:4 “After he has appeared, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others.”

Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.”

No one needs to like this but this is truth … real truth from God’s Word. As we amass our fortunes and build our estates, churches, businesses … remember we start off with nothing and end up with nothing. This means it is important for us to understand who the true owner of our assets and empires are! This is another leveler:

Ps 24:1 The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.

Alexander thought his inherited kingdom from daddy was his to do with as he pleased … ruthlessly adding nations at will and pleasure. He was described as … charismatic, brilliant and diplomatic on the one hand, yet on the other he was ruthless, power hungry and bloodthirsty. Everything was his. God did not feature. Take Job again … and this time I will use the full text:

Job 1:20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

Sandwiched between verse 21a are verses 20 and 21b … worship. Whatever you have is God given. Thank Him for it because it will not last forever! (c) He has two sons, born of different mothers. After his death, one after the other were assassinated. In time his generals divided the kingdom between themselves. At the same time, before this parceling took place, small dynasties arose. No one enjoyed the power Alexander had. Verse 4’s prophecy came true exactly as the Divine Messenger said it would! The Divine Messenger gave another prophecy … one to do with His eternal Kingdom:

Jn 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

What He said of Alexander came true. Are you getting ready for His return?

Come Lord Jesus. Amen.

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