Propping Up the Beast

Years ago, while studying the book of Daniel, I found a concept in a commentary by David Jeremiah that has remained with me. He asked, “Are you working to bring in God’s kingdom or merely propping up the beast?”

 In Chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar dreams about a huge statue made of gold, silver, bronze and iron. Daniel explains that this statue represents four kingdoms of the earth, but in the final days a stone, the final eternal kingdom “will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms but will itself endure forever.”

 In subsequent chapters, the kingdoms of the world are described as various animals.  A great and terrifying beast represents the fourth earthly kingdom. Dr. Jeremiah’s question challenges us to examine our motives.  I pondered, “How much of my time and energy is invested in the agendas of this world (propping up the beast) or am I fully devoted to the kingdom that will last throughout the ages?”

 In Matthew 16:23, Jesus told Peter, “You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Like Peter, we can get confused and pour our passions into politics or humanitarian efforts. How much of my energy is spent defending a candidate or a cause? Am I consumed by longing for the day described in Zechariah 14:9 when “The Lord will be king over all the earth; and in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.” Unintentionally, our loyalties, as individuals and in churches, can become divided as we subtly develop a Jesus and (insert good cause here) mentality. Over and over in His word, the Lord tells us He will not share his glory with another.

 To clarify, I am not advocating living the life of a hermit by withdrawing from the world, not am I suggesting passivity. I merely want to caution anyone who feels passionately about a certain cause to not use scripture as a proof that your agenda is God’s agenda. Instead we must learn Biblical truth and let that guide which positions we uphold.

 So until the day when “the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as waters cover the sea,” (Habakkuk 2:14), “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what the Lord requires of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:6

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