|Luck or Providence? (C)|
Terry Dashner…………………..Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 Broken Arrow, OK 74013
One gentile ruler down and here comes another one. Just like God allowed it, no doubt.
Here comes Daniel’s leopard to pounce on the world. (The leopard is one of four gentile powers to rule over Israel throughout world history as stated in the Book of Daniel.) His name was Alexander. Let me tell you a little bit about him.
His father was Philip of Macedonia. He brought all of Greece under his rule just before he was assassinated in 336 BC. The great philosopher Aristotle tutored young Alexander. At 20 Alexander succeeded his famous father. Alexander defeated Darius III (558-486BC) in the Battle of Issus in 333 BC, the Persian Empire crumbled. By the time Alexander was 33, he ruled 50 times as much land and 20 times as many people as had existed in the empire he inherited from Philip. The territory included Greece, Egypt, all of the former Persian Empire and all of what we think of today as the Middle East.
Now the question I raise is this: How could a man (a young man at that) conquer that much territory in just 13 years if he had been guided simply by luck? He was not just fortuitous in his exploits. God allowed him to move swiftly across the world just like Daniel’s “leopard” because it was in His plan. (I hope I’m not being too dogmatic for you. Once again having survived 50 years on this planet, I’m convinced, more than ever, that God rules over the affairs of men.) “Even today” says Bill Yenne, “…almost two dozen centuries later, he [Alexander the Great] has barely half a dozen rivals to this achievement.
“However, the true importance of Alexander’s empire was that for the first time, there could be a free exchange of ideas between two different cultures. Unlike most other victorious leaders, Alexander was not only receptive to the ideas of his conquered peoples but adopted ideas he learned from Persian political organization. On the other hand, Greek art influenced the art of India. Before his untimely death of natural causes at age 33, Alexander also built the city of Alexandria in Egypt, whose great library survived for a thousand years and which evolved into the greatest center of learning in the world.”
So God used a Macedonian to spread Greek culture across the world. This exchange between cultures benefited the world and still impacts the nations of the world. It seems that God was all about spreading cultural ideas and disseminating knowledge. I believe that God detests ignorance, especially among His people. Ignorance does nothing more than bind up people, promote prejudice, darken civilizations, and slows progress. When Alexander finished his course, he was tossed aside. (God always gave His subjects great opportunities to humble themselves and live for Him. If rulers did that, they were sustained by the hand of God. If they exalted themselves, making themselves out to be gods, then God had one choice and that was to put them down and raise up another.)
Next on the scene of superpowers, was Rome. Rome was alluded to in the Book of Daniel as being the most terrible of all conquering powers that had come before her. Rome grows from a city on the Tiber River to become the dominant political force in Italy. And then a world empire. This, too, happened by supernatural guidance. It didn’t happen by luck.
The word “Punic” is derived from the Latin word Punicus, meaning Carthaginian, which itself is derived form the Greek word Phoenix, meaning Phoenician (proof of cultural borrowing and amalgamation of languages). Rome first comes to world dominance by defeating the superpower of the Mediterranean, Carthage. It will take three wars, but she does it and climbs to world-power status. That’s amazing. It was the Roman victory at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC which marked the beginning of the power of the Roman Empire that would continue to reign supreme for six centuries. Wow.
I will continue this study tomorrow. Remember, you could have been born at any time in history. But, God desired that you live today. What does that mean? You have been raised up by the Providence of God to serve Him today. This is a significant time in human history. Jesus is soon to return for His Bride, and you have been reserved for this end time event. That’s an awesome responsibility if you stop and think about it. It says that you should be busy about your Father’s business. You are to occupy the ground of faith until He comes. Don’t let Him come and find you sleeping on watch. Arise and tell the Good News—Jesus died for all that all men might live in God.
Keep the faith. Stay the course. Jesus is coming soon.
Pastor T. dash
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