Sunday, October 26, 2008

Feet Of Iron And Clay

John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, begins the 14th chapter quoting Christ. He writes,"Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid..."
In these days, in these world conditions, many people are troubled and afraid. They wonder if the world will be destroyed by some psychotic zealot or religious fanatics whose hearts and minds are set upon setting up their own kingdom(s) and, like some football team that has just won the Super Bowl, being "number one."
True, times are troubled but God is in control. The history of the kingdoms of this world was written by the Prophet Daniel 600 years before The Christ was born.
It is all described in Daniel the second chapter. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of ancient Babylon (in Iraq) had a dream and when he awoke he was unable to remember it. What he did remember was that he was greatly disturbed, was unable to sleep and that he had to find some way of recalling the dream and learning its meaning. Enter Daniel.
The Prophet told the king that there was a God in heaven that had revealed to him both the dream and its meaning. Daniel told the king that he saw a large image of a man, only this man had a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay. He then told Nebuchadnezzar that he saw a stone cut out of a mountain without hands and that this stone struck the statue in the feet of iron and clay. The clay, iron, brass, silver, and gold were ground to powder that was blown away in the wind and the stone filled the whole earth.
Now the interpretation: Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he was the head of gold and that the metals represented successive kingdoms each less glorious than Babylon. Silver represented the Medes and Persians, brass represented the Greeks under Alexander the Great. Rome was the kingdom of iron.
Rome was not conquered, it was divided up by the invading barbarian hordes from the North. The ten toes represent the emergent nations of Europe. Some are strong (iron) and some are weak (clay) but they are not miscible nor will they ever be mixed again. They tried to be strong and to unite by intermarriage; it failed. (Even this fact is recorded in Daniel). Every would-be conqueror who tried to unite Europe has failed from Charlemagne to Napoleon. Hitler failed. Stalin failed. Sadam Hussein failed. Putin will fail, Chavez will fail, Iran will fail, Islam will fail; they all will fail because God has etched the line in time; Rome was the last world kingdom.
Oh, there will be wars and others will try to outwit God but they will all fail. The feet and toes represent the end-times of this world. In man, from head to toe, what? That is the end.
The stone cut out without hands that destroyed the image (kingdoms of the world) and its feet and toes represents the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ is the Rock (of Ages) and we, living in the time of the toes (perhaps the toenails) may be witnesses to the establishment of the eternal Kingdom of Jesus the Christ.
We worry about the diminished value of our homes. We worry about our devalued 401K (now a 201K). We worry about the price of food and heating oil and gasoline but I will point you back to the words of Christ: "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions (rooms). If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there you may be also." [John 14:1-3].
God said to Joshua as he was about to take all of Israel into the land of promise: "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Jesus is about to lead His people (those who believe, accept, and obey Him) into the Land of Promise. Joshua represents Jesus as the One who takes His people from the desert of this world into a land flowing with milk and honey.
"If God be for us, who can be against us."
God Bless. e.c.

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