“At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Cushites in submission. But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him. Daniel 11:40-45 (NIV).
Chapter Eleven ends with an account of the battles that will occur at the end of time. It does so while being steeped in the Old Testament prophecies of those battles (and some that also happened centuries before), and how God will prevail over this temporal embodiment of evil.
That’s good to remember as we start Christmas week. Yes, I mean it. During this time when we, as a world, remember the birth of the baby in Bethlehem, let’s remember that his wannabe usurper awaited even then an opportunity to destroy humanity that it might injure Christ the Lord.
Don’t believe me? Part of that magical Christmas story of love, peace on earth, and ultimate giving is the story of wholesale murder. With the visit of the Magi came a revelation from God, to them, to return home without visiting Herod. Herod, the Roman puppet who ruled Judea, was insanely jealous for his power. Knowing that the newborn Christ might grow to dethrone him, Herod slaughtered every boy of Jesus’ age for miles around. Jesus had done nothing wrong. Those innocent babies had done anything wrong. No, Satan was at work through Herod and it brought out the worst in humanity.
Just like will happen again, in the days of the Antichrist. Antichrist will summon the best of the armies of men, all of who will turn on their better angels and rage war against the faithful to God. At the time of His choosing, Jesus will return to defeat Satan for all time and begin the timeless peace of eternity for Him. It’ll be wonderful, spectacular and a celebration of Christ. Almost like another Christmas.
For further reading: 2 Chronicles 12:3, Isaiah 2:2, Isaiah 5:28, Isaiah 11:14, Isaiah 12:1, Jeremiah 48:47, Ezekiel 20:6, Ezekiel 38:4, Nahum 3:9, Malachi 3:12, Matthew 2:16-18, Daniel 12:1
Mighty Lord, thank You for this reminder of why you came at Christmas.
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