Dr. Harold Hoehner was head of the Dallas Theological Seminary doctoral program and my New Testament professor in both the masters and doctoral program. He was known for his absolute commitment to make sure that the form of our footnotes on our dissertations were correct, but he was better known for his wise quips. One day a student was boasting about a paper they wrote, and trying to impress fellow students. Overhearing the conversation, Dr. Hoehner smiled, “Maybe somebody else should be making those statements? Don’t you think?” Dr. Hoehner knew the deadliness of an arrogant mouth.
At the climax of Daniel’s vision of the four beasts, a little horn rose up among ten others. It uprooted three of the ten and then solidified the rest into a worldwide empire. This ultimate man of evil, the Antichrist, will have the same core problem Nebuchadnezzar had, an arrogant mouth. Only this time God will show no mercy.
“I looked then as my vision continued. I heard the sound of powerful words, expressing great things. The horn was speaking. But as I looked the beast was killed and its body was destroyed and given over to the burning flames. The dominion of the rest of the beasts was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a time and season.” Daniel 7:11-12
As we move through history and the four world empires successively replace one another, their influence is not totally obliterated. For example: Cyrus conquered the Babylonians but the Babylonian influence continued as Cyrus set up his capital in Babylon. Later in history, Rome conquered Greece, but we can still see the influence of Doric, Ionian, and Corinthian columns to this day on our own governmental buildings. But when the Antichrist mounts his final challenge against God’s authority, God will shut his arrogant mouth and there will be no lingering influence as he burns in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 29:20).
As I follow the true Christ today, I need to allow his Spirit to burn away the arrogance in my voice. We need to be warned not to equate a boastful mouth with success or strength. Whether it’s Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, or the final political world rule, boasting about how great we are will bring down God’s judgment and he doesn’t care whether it’s on the right or the left.
LORD, as I teach help me to be humble with my students and not permit any pride to block your Spirit as you seek to help them to understand your Word. Raise up governmental leaders who will be humble and submissive to your justice, mercy, and truth.
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