As a Christian living in the last days, even though I have read many times of the evil that will be common during this time, I am shocked at what I see happening in our once-great nation. As a mother, I fear for my children; as a Christian, however; I have nothing to fear. God has taught us to trust in Him.
Many people today believe the Old Testament is not for "modern times." I say this is very wrong and Psalms tell us (as in other places in God's Word), Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: 3. Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. 4. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. 5. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6. That the generation to come might know
them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children. 7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments. Psalm 78:1-7 God is telling us that His word is given to be passed on from one generation to the next so that we might learn and know the great and wonderful blessings and gifts He has given to us. Yes, this mentions Israel. Israel is God's chosen people. However, we are grafted in with the Nation of Israel as God's children because we accepted his son, Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, the Holy One foretold of in Old Testament scripture. He has given us the gift of salvation and we put our trust in Him.
I say these things today because as I reflect back upon the year 2009, I see a year of great change and turmoil in the world.
The United States of America is no longer a blessed nation by God. It is not because there aren't God-loving Christians here; but our nation, which was ordained from the very beginning by God himself has turned her back on Him. We know from the story of the nation of Israel that God will bless those who bless him and He will curse those who curse Him. We also know that any nation standing against the Nation of Israel will not prosper.
Many voted for "hope" and "change" and now we find ourselves with a president who is a follower of Islam. He is no respector of Christians nor of the Jewish people. He made fine promises and fine, grand speeches. But that was all just window-dressing.
The only real hope and change we can ever receive comes directly from God, himself. Many people who voted for this man to whom I refer now have "buyer's remorse" but unfortunately, we can't just boot him from the Oval Office easily. I fear this man has plans to stay a while and get very comfortable.
What we have seen take place in America over the last eleven months is nothing less than supernatural. We see the corruption, the unlawfulness, the blatant deceit and yet nothing seems to work to stop this against our nation, against the very foundation upon which the United States of America was built. I believe that a mighty spiritual battle is taking place all across this world and we are seeing it first-hand here in America, now.
Today is not unlike the times of Nebuchadnezzar, who God tells us, had a form of the spirit of the anti-christ. He was evil, he did horrific things to the Nation of Israel. He was the greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonian kings. He married the daughter of Cyaxares, and thus the Median and Babylonian dynasties were united.
Necho II., the king of Egypt, gained a victory over the Assyrians at Carchemish. (See JOSIAH; MEGIDDO.) This secured to Egypt the possession of the Syrian provinces of Assyria, including Palestine. The remaining provinces of the Assyrian empire were divided between Babylonia and Media. But Nabopolassar was ambitious of reconquering from Necho the western provinces of Syria, and for this purpose he sent his son with a powerful army westward (Dan. 1:1). The Egyptians met him at Carchemish, where a furious battle was fought, resulting in the complete rout of the Egyptians, who were driven back (Jer. 46:2-12), and Syria and Phoenicia brought under the sway of Babylon (B.C. 606). From that time "the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land" (2 Kings 24:7). Nebuchadnezzar also subdued the whole of Palestine, and took Jerusalem, carrying away captive a great multitude of the Jews, among whom were Daniel and his companions (Dan. 1:1, 2; Jer. 27:19; 40:1).
Three years after this, Jehoiakim, who had reigned in Jerusalem as a Babylonian vassal, rebelled against the oppressor, trusting to help from Egypt (2 Kings 24:1). This led Nebuchadnezzar to march an army again to the conquest of Jerusalem, which at once yielded to him (B.C. 598). A third time he came against it, and deposed Jehoiachin, whom he carried into Babylon, with a large portion of the population of the city, and the sacred vessels of the temple, placing Zedekiah on the throne of Judah in his stead. He also, heedless of the warnings of the prophet, entered into an Alliance with Egypt, and rebelled against Babylon. This brought about the final siege of the city, which was at length taken and utterly destroyed (B.C. 586). Zedekiah was taken captive, and had his eyes put out by order of the king of Babylon, who made him a prisoner for the remainder of his life.
An onyx cameo, now in the museum of Florence, bears on it an arrow-headed inscription, which is certainly ancient and genuine. The helmeted profile is said (Schrader) to be genuine also, but it is more probable that it is the portrait of a usurper in the time of Darius (Hystaspes), called Nidinta-Bel, who took the name of "Nebuchadrezzar." The inscription has been thus translated:, "In honor of Merodach, his lord, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in his lifetime had this made."
A clay tablet, now in the British Museum, bears the following inscription, the only one as yet found which refers to his wars: "In the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the country of Babylon, he went to Egypt [Misr] to make war. Amasis, king of Egypt, collected [his army], and marched and spread abroad." Thus were fulfilled the words of the prophet (Jer. 46:13-26; Ezek. 29:2-20). Having completed the subjugation of Phoenicia, and inflicted chastisement on Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar now set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon (Dan. 4:30), and to add to the greatness and prosperity of his kingdom by constructing canals and aqueducts and reservoirs surpassing in grandeur and magnificence everything of the kind mentioned in history (Dan. 2:37). He is represented as a “king of kings,” ruling over a vast kingdom of many provinces, with a long list of officers and rulers under him, "princes, governors, captains," etc. (3:2, 3, 27). He may, indeed, be said to have created the mighty empire over which he ruled.
"Modern research has shown that Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest monarch that Babylon, or perhaps the East generally, ever produced. He must have possessed an enormous command of human labor, nine-tenths of Babylon itself, and nineteen-twentieths of all the other ruins that in almost countless profusion cover the land, are composed of bricks stamped with his name. He appears to have built or restored almost every city and temple in the whole country. His inscriptions give an elaborate account of the immense works which he constructed in and about Babylon itself, abundantly illustrating the boast, 'Is not this great Babylon which I have build?'"
After the incident of the “burning fiery furnace” (Dan. 3) into which the three Hebrew confessors were cast, Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with some peculiar mental aberration as a punishment for his pride and vanity, probably the form of madness known as lycanthropy (i.e, “the change of a man into a wolf”). A remarkable confirmation of the Scripture narrative is afforded by the recent discovery of a bronze door-step, which bears an inscription to the effect that it was presented by Nebuchadnezzar to the great temple at Borsippa as a votive offering on account of his recovery from a terrible illness. (See DANIEL.)
He survived his recovery for some years, and died B.C. 562, in the eighty-third or eighty-fourth year of his age, after a reign of forty-three years, and was succeeded by his son Evil-merodach, who, after a reign of two years, was succeeded by Neriglissar (559-555), who was succeeded by Nabonadius (555-538), at the close of whose reign (less than a quarter of a century after the death of Nebuchadnezzar) Babylon fell under Cyrus at the head of the combined armies of Media and Persia.
“I have examined,” says Sir H. Rawlinson, "the bricks belonging perhaps to a hundred different towns and cities in the neighborhood of Baghdad, and I never found any other legend than that of Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon." Nine-tenths of all the bricks amid the ruins of Babylon are stamped with his name.
So, we see how very mighty and powerful this king was. However, he was no match for Daniel or for God. Nebuchadnezzar trusted in his immense wealth and powerful warriors -- He had no room for God in his kingdom.
However, late in his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had a philosophical wake-up call. Overnight, he went from mighty king to wandering madman, as he was stricken with a psycho-mania, which caused him to act like an animal. He grew long hair and nails, roaming about the countryside grazing on grass.
Seven years into his malady, Nebuchadnezzar returned to his senses; immediately, he knew his lifelong mistake. A once Godless ruler was now a God-fearing man. In fact, his own philosophical journey was recorded in the ancient texts of the prophet Daniel, who was living as a captive in Babylon:
“I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked to heaven. I was given my mind back and I blessed the High God, thanking and glorifying God, who lives forever.
“At the same time that I was given back my mind, I was also given back my majesty and splendor, making my kingdom shine. All the leaders and important people came looking for me. I was reestablished as king in my kingdom and became greater than ever. And that’s why I’m singing -- I, Nebuchadnezzar -- singing and praising the King of Heaven:
“Everything he does is right, and he does it the right way. He knows how to turn a proud person into a humble man.”
Nebuchadnezzar was a mighty king, ruling a vast kingdom. By the world’s standards, he was the most powerful man of his day.
However, through a season of humbling, Nebuchadnezzar came to recognize that God is a far mightier king, ruling a kingdom that is everlasting.
Perhaps Daniel and the Israelites were at times scared, perplexed and didn't know what to do. But then, as today, God has ultimate knowledge and wisdom in all things. If we will trust Him and follow His word, we will be safe and He can use us for
His kingdom. Daniel was a mighty man of God. His writings tell us of things to come in the end days; even the very last of days, he was entrusted with great secrets and the task of writing all things he was told so that today we have those very same
words to instruct us in the perilous times in which we live. We see how important it is to obey and trust in God.
Just as the Israelites probably asked God to remove Nebuchadnezzar, many Christians today are praying for the United States and for a Godly ruler to replace the one we now have. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God tells us "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." This is what we are putting our hope in for our country.
However, if we study God's word, we know that we are living in the end of the Age of Grace. Soon, the Tribulation will come and God will punish those who've stood against the nation of Israel and who have turned their back upon Him. We know that as Children of God, our punishment was taken by Christ on the cross. He took our sin, he took our punishment. We will not experience God's wrath. But, we may see some very hard times. We must remember the warning that Jesus gave us in his
Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 when he warned that "the very elect would be deceived" in the last days by those coming and professing to be him and by false doctrine. Let us be strong, stay in the Word of God and trust in Him. Let us remember the
things that God gave us in the Old Testament. Those accounts of how he led the Israelites out of Egypt, he fed them, kept them safe; even their clothes never wore out. For forty years, God did this. God loves us and He always keeps His promises.
Comfort one another with God's word. Let not your heart be troubled. If anyone you know has not turned to God, received the
gift of salvation through Jesus Christ; share that message with them. Pray for them, that they will turn to God while they still can. We have a ring-side seat in the most interesting age of man. We are here for a reason. Let your light shine. We are children of the light, not of the darkness. There is no darkness in us.
Pray for our nation, pray that the USA will once again turn to God. Pray for the Nation of Israel. Pray that the USA will once again support Israel and be her friend.
May God bless you and your family this holy season when we observe the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us be strong, we
can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. These are not just words! Put these words in your heart and think upon them daily. Commit them to your memory. Teach your children the thing that God has instructed us to teach them. As we
await the Trumpet announcing His coming in the heavens, put on the whole armor of God. Especially, “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The very atmosphere is charged with
“imaginations and accusations” against everything pure and holy and against every child of God. Listen to nothing that is not in perfect harmony with the Holy Bible. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4)