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Lesson # Dan. 8:5-8
Study Material - Dan. 8:5-8
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
5 While I was observing, behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. 6 And he came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and rushed at him in his mighty wrath. 7 And I saw him come beside the ram, and he was enraged at him; and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to withstand him. So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power. 8 Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly. But as soon as he was mighty, the large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.
A couple of more verses are given to the rise of the Greek Empire, than were given the Persian Empire. Here we have an even lessor animal than was represented for the Persians. The goat with a single horn. The single horn representing Alexander as the words here come from Greek mythology, Jupiter Ammon, or the ram-horned. This is a very stubborn animal who will pick a fight for no apparent reason other than to be more macho than the opponent.
So arrogance, and pure arrogance is the motivation behind the advance of Alexander throughout the regions he conquered. The Persian animal represented is the Hebrew word, 'Baal-karnayeem' for the Persian god 'lord of two horns.'
Remember that Daniel writes this prophecy centuries before the actual events, and note also the detail with which he states these future events and parties involved. Ammon was an Egyptian god, Ammon-Ra, who was a goat by the way, but which did not even exist for some time in the future relative to Daniel's time Daniel.
Alexander advanced against Persia with an army consisting of no more than 30,000 infantry and 5000 cavalry. He engaged in three significant battles against Persia. Not at the same time but over a period of time. At these battles at Granicus, at Issus, and at Arbela, Alexander totally routed the Persians and in the last battle the Persians lost 600,000 men killed. Alexander pursued relentlessly all the way to the Caspian Sea, where the Persian king was assassinated by one of his own. Thus Persia fell.
Alexander was said, in fables, to be the son of Jupiter Amman. And the Bible identifies the arrogant goat in Prov. 30:31, or otherwise a strutting animal - arrogance. The battles fought by Alexander were merely simple wars of aggression. Alexander wanted something and he was overwhelming obsessed with territorial gains as a bully is obsessed with pushing others around. He could do it, so he did.
Where was there anyone to save Persia? Well there was no one. Persia was anti-God, therefore they had no aid available from God. They chose to live inside the jungle and within its laws. The strong survive. The weak get run over.
Then as suddenly as Alexander rose to power, he fell over dead. His four generals divided up the kingdom and these are the four horns divided by the four winds of heaven. Note these are not the winds of earth, but of heaven. We have already seen that the winds of heaven drive human history. God controls history. God gives great latitude (human volition) to people to make their own choices, to choose their own leadership. But ultimately God corrects the direction in which man takes his own kind. Or maybe I should say that God institutes various corrections into history to fix mans failures.
This serve as a comfort since nations and leaders and peoples in all walks of life tend to mess their lives up as well as the world, through lust, crime, selfishness, politics, power plays, etc. But God corrects all things and makes them work out for good. So when things seem at their worst, then there is always God to turn to for relief. To those who are positive toward God, the laws of the jungle are set aside. God overrules in behalf of positive believers - in fellowship.
Think that you don't need God, ignore God, engage in your Bible study in a half (what you sit on) manner, and you get the jungle results. Daniel is here leading up to a very important passage meant not only for us in our personal lives, but for those peoples who will live in the Tribulation. And before you jump to conclusions the next few verses are not the horn of the tribulation. They refer to further history following the breakup of the Greek Empire. But more on that tomorrow.
In the jungle a lessor animal can defeat the greater animal. The lion is already gone, the ram too, and now the goat which leaves only the horns of the goat, or a fragmented animal. No matter how important leaders or nations might think they are, there is always some lessor entity who will come along to humble them.
Sometimes the lessor entity is victorious, sometimes not. As we see in our current day, we have an enemy in these terrorists who hide in the shadows behind no specific geographic location and whose support is veiled by other cowardly nations or groups (false charities, drug organizations, etc.). Perhaps this is to be the wave of the future and the end fragmentation of our current Church Age. Who knows. Only time will tell. But in the mean time, regardless of our own future, we know that God is in control of our individual futures. Our leaders will come and go, and some will be strong, and some will be weak. We will rise up against terrorists and defeat them, and we will lose some battles. That is the way of the jungle. No matter.
Our priority is to advance in our spiritual lives allowing God to guide us through all of this potential historic mess, whether on a world wide scale or, in most of our cases, on our more personal day to day scale. We will not change the course of history. Remember that these winds of heaven are set and driving history. Nothing can reverse them, just as you cannot reverse the birth process when the child's time is due. No time out's. No King's X's. What will be will be. But we do not have to go down in doom with the rest of the world. We arise victorious when we stick with our Bible study as the world and the jungle does its own thing.
History is already set. The forces of heaven are shaping the ten kingdoms (whomever they might be), and when the time is right, we will be pulled from the world - Rapture. Whether that is going to be tomorrow or next century we do not know, nor is it necessary for us to know. Our responsibility is to our own soul and our individual spiritual growth. So invest wisely!
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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