The Author of Human History
When we think of kingdoms in the human history, we first think of the first king of the kingdoms who is claimed to be the one who built the kingdom. Thus, we tend to think that Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongolian Empire; Alexander the Great, the Greek Empire.
When we play the game Chess, the Knight goes forward and captures the Queen, which ends the game. In that game, the Knight seems to be the one who ended the game. However, actually it is the Chess player who controls those Chess pieces who made it possible to end the game.
The human history can be read in the same way. Seemingly, it is a king or a general who conquered the nations. In reality, however, everything is controlled by God who moves those kings and generals to fulfill his intentions. Kingdoms rises and falls and all these are the works of God.
Daniel 2:21 Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
The rises and falls of the kingdoms of the human history are the works of God. God is the one who set up kings and kingdoms and deposes them.
Job 12:23 He (God) makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them. He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he makes them wander in a trackless waste. They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards.
Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus
The bible testifies about kings who received kingdoms from God. We are going to look at the two kings, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon and Cyrus, the king of Persia. Even though God gave them their own kingdoms, one acknowledged God and gave honor to God, through which he could be blessed. However, the other gave honor to himself and his kingdom was deprived from him. By looking at the stories of the two kings we must realize that it is God who set up kings and kingdoms. And second, we have to know that when God called someone, He gives them missions which they have to accomplish to do the will of God. When they have done the missions given to them, they could be blessed by God. But when they have failed to do, they could be cursed by God.
Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon
Through the prophet Jeremiah God already foretold that his people would be slaves of Babylon for 70 years.
Jeremiah 24:9 I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. 10 I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
To fulfill this prophecy of the bible, Nebuchadnezzar conquered the nation of Judah and God’s people became the slaves of Babylon. All these things were done by God to fulfill his words.
Daniel 2:37 37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
Daniel clearly says that it was God who gave the kingdom to Nebuchadnezzar. And after listening to the interpretation of the dream, Nebuchadnezzar himself acknowledged that it is God who gave him the kingdom and gave praise to God.
Daniel 2:46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.
However, later the king became proud of himself and his work, he failed to give honor to God for all the works he has done. Instead, he exalted himself for all the achievements and be cursed by God.
Daniel 4:28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
The bible teaches that all these took place to teach us that it is God who plans the human history, not any man or any king.
Daniel 4:17 “‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’
Cyrus, the King of Persia
Now let us take a look at another king who was eager to do the will of God and be blessed by God. Through Prophet Isaiah God prophesied about Cyrus and the works he would do.
Isaiah 45:1 “This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
so that gates will not be shut:
2 I will go before you
and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.
In this prophecy, about 160 years before the birth of Cyrus, through Prophet Isaiah God already foretold the appearance of Cyrus and the works he would. Cyrus would conquer the nations with the help of God. Then why did God summon Cyrus? To Cyrus God entrusted some missions about His people Israel.
Isaiah 45:13 I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness:
I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
says the Lord Almighty.”
Finally when Cyrus conquered the kingdom of Babylon, he came to know about the prophecies of God. His heart was moved by the words of God, and he set the Israel people free from the slavery of Babylon and let them go back to their own country to build the temple of God. He provided all the building materials for the temple including silver and gold and other gemstones. He did all these things with a willing mind giving thanks and praise to God for all the work He has done for him.
For this reason, even though he was a Gentile king, he could be blessed enough to take up one part of the prophecies of the appearance of the Christ. According to one prophecy, the appearance of the Second Coming Christ is compared to the coming of Cyrus to set God’s people free from the slavery of sin and death of the prophetical Babylon, that is, the Roman Catholic Church.
God, the Author of the Human History
Through these prophecies of the bible we can see that the one who runs the human history is not a mere man such as a king or a general, but God himself. God set up kings and nations with certain purposes in mind.
Today, too, sometimes many things happen that seem to be chaotic and catastrophic. Sometimes we might be bewildered and confused. But whatever might happen, we have to remember just one thing that it is God who is working behind this and his ultimate purpose is the salvation of his people.
As people of God who believe in Elohim God, God the Father and God the Mother, we should not be afraid. Rather we have to give thanks and honor to God all the time because God is working even now to save us and take us to the new heaven and the new earth where there is no mourning, pain, suffering, nor death.