Alexander the Great
As a kid in elementary school Alexander the Great fascinated me. I drew pictures of him in his chariot and knew that the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle, tutored the young prince. When his father was assassinated, Alexander took the throne at twenty. Furious over the Persian invasions into the Greek heartland in 490 BC and again in 480 BC, Alexander struck back in 334 BC and quickly defeated the Persians at the Battle of Granicus in what is now Turkey, then again at Issus, and then stomped the Persian Empire into the ground at Arbela. Daniel’s vision saw the swiftness of Alexander’s conquests and the destruction of the Persians, but he also saw the destiny of the invincible, young, world conqueror who at the height of his power commanded his subjects to worship him.
“As I was considering the ram doing as he pleased and increasing in greatness, I looked. There was a billy goat coming from the west, swiftly moving across all the earth without touching the ground. And this billy goat had a prominent horn between his eyes. He approached the ram, the one with two horns that I saw earlier standing on the bank of the Ulai canal, and he charged the ram in intense rage.
I watched him as he closed down on the ram. In furious anger he struck it and smashed its two horns. The ram stood helpless before the onslaught, and was then trampled to the ground. There was no one who could deliver the ram from its power. It became greater and greater. But then at the apex of his power, the great horn was broken, and four other horns rose up toward the four winds of heaven.” Daniel 8:5-8
Take God out of the equation and politics is all about the lust for money and power. But it’s a fatal error to leave God out. He’s the most important player. He decided when the Persian Cyrus would come to power, defeat the Babylonians, and set his Jewish people free. He also decided when Alexander would fly across the Persian Empire, like a mighty, winged leopard, and bring an end to Persian dominance.
Alexander at thirty-two believed he was divine, but on June 13, 323 BC, returning from his invasion of India, he contracted a fever, possibly malaria, and died. His two young sons were murdered, and four of his generals divvied up the world he left behind.
It’s fascinating that Daniel’s vision focuses only a short time on Alexander, one of the greatest generals of all time, but will spend many verses telling the story of a relatively insignificant tyrant that arose out of the territory ruled by Alexander’s general, Seleucus.
LORD, evidently it’s a very important lesson. One success after another, invincibility, and self-worship—help me to realize that all this pride does lead to destruction. Give your children facing persecution from tyrants today , endurance.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!