“In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king will arise, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in everything he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people.” (Daniel 8:23-24 NIV)
Expressions of rebellion have made their way into the fabric of American society. A nation that was formed in rebellion is developing a culture that idealizes rebellion. The seeds of anarchy have taken root in various ways; this includes police shootings; violent protests; leaders promoting violence; officials at all levels selectively enforcing laws and who is punished; acts of vandalism against symbols of America’s history; disavowal of accepted national traditions or social norms; a press with a political agenda; a politicized judiciary and, perhaps most damaging, the unrelenting verbal attacks and physical threat directed at the U.S. chief executive and members of congress. All the above take place with relative impunity. The rebels trumpet their right to free speech, while they attempt to silence those with whom they disagree. It is now as it was in the latter days of Israel’s judges: There was no king so everyone did as he saw fit (Judges 21:25).
We are witnessing the end of a once proud republic. Soon after it all comes crashing down, the rebellion will end as well.
Nearly two centuries ago, Alexis de Tocqueville of France, observed, “America is great because she is good. When America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” Take de Tocqueville’s wisdom a step further: When America ceases to be good, she will cease to be. “Make America Great Again” is a pipe dream without the rule of law, morality, mutual respect and goodness. Without repentance, America is destined for despotism. When barbarians finish their plundering, a tyrant will assume control. The colonists in pre-Revolutionary War days had it good under King George III of England’s rule compared to what America has coming. God have mercy on your people.
Without constraints, people rage against the Lord and rebel against authority (Psalm 2:1-2). In the end, they will not go unpunished. Their swords will be used against them. For rebellion is like the sin of divination (1 Samuel 15:23).
In contrast to an attitude of rebellion, when the first of Judah’s exiles were settled in Babylon, the prophet Jeremiah sent a letter to the elders:
This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce… Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:4-5, 7)
As for God’s people, they were to go about their lives, blessing their neighbors and Nebuchadnezzar the king. Regardless of who rules over the kingdoms of men, the saints are to turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)
Rebellion against authority was conceived in the heart of an angel of light (Isaiah 14:13). It spread throughout the angelic realm until the scourge was hurled to the earth. In these last days, we know who is fomenting discontent and hatred. We know where the rage originates. It is because the devil’s time is short. Prophecy confirms there will be rebels. In the time of the end, they will become completely wicked. A stern-faced king will emerge as their chief. He will make war against God’s mighty ones and saints. After his power is taken, he and his kingdom will be completely destroyed. The scourge on earth will cease. The meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. So says the Lord.