Then the king of the North will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand. The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it. He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his planswill not succeed or help him. Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back on him. After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more. Daniel 11:15-19 (NIV).
These verses are the short bridge between the time of the rise of Rome (in the 200s BC) to the time of Christ (approximately 4-2 BC). According to sites I cited last week, “the invader (who) will do as he pleases” is Rome. Even now, some 1400 years after the fall of the Roman empire, we still feel the effects of what Rome did, Rome was, Rome itself. Everything from our system of laws to the width of our roads traces back to Rome.
Everything that happened in the life of Jesus happened in the context of a Roman world. THAT is the point of the prophecy, the point of it bridging the time of the Ptolemies to the time of Jesus. Over 500 years before Christ, the angel was revealing how the world stage would be set for His arrival. In fact, not long after Daniel’s life, God went silent. The time of the prophets and the time in which the Old Testament was written was closed. For over 400 years, God would be silent as Israel was brought home, occupied, then occupied again and again. All of this happened so that we could see how the prophesies about the Messiah came true in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
Given that this is Advent, consider what all this means. All of ancient history was lived to reach the time of the Messiah, when God would delivery His entire people from the slavery of sin. All of history afterwards leads up to the time when God will again return, in Himself Jesus, to cleanse the world from sin itself. It happened before. It will happen again.
For further reading: Joshua 1:5, Psalm 20:4, Psalm 27:2, Psalm 37:36, Isaiah 66:19, Jeremiah 25:22, Ezekiel 26:21, Hosea 12:14, Daniel 11:20
Lord, all our history is the story of You.
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