By Dr. Douglas F. Levesque, Founder of The Levesque Institute
The Bible is filled with historical accounts of ‘evil empires’ and their ‘despot rulers’. The reality of such difficult circumstances for Bible adherents is something we often look back on and thank God we do not have to endure. However, in recent years, even the United States has become more and more ‘Babylonian’. Today, the Bible is being relegated to a myth or just a book among books. Bible believers are increasingly being hushed in the public arena. Bible speak is hardly being tolerated even in church services. Bible literacy is at alarmingly low levels. Could it be possible for ‘evil empires’ and ‘despot rulers’ to once again claim a place of power and influence? How will this effect Bible believers? Is there a way to survive such Babylonian circumstances? Can one be an adamant Bible advocate and still thrive? We can find the answers to these questions in the Bible itself, and we can take heart at the hope that is offered.
Many are intimidated and afraid of what may be happening to their freedoms in America today. Conspiracy theories, and even paranoia abound, but the reactions to these mindsets – apathy, malaise and surrender, are even worse. A Biblical response is in order. That response is to stand with an adamant purpose to survive and thrive in modern “Babylonian” societies. Consider the following Bible vignettes:
Joseph in Egypt
“And Pharoah said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.” -Genesis 41:41
The Pharoahs were not known for their kindness, especially to the Hebrews, but in the midst of his life gone mad, Joseph not only survived, but thrived. Joseph continued to walk with and trust Almighty God. This made him a humble and able servant. God touched all that Joseph did, making Joseph appear to have the Midas touch. Everyone wanted a bit of Joseph’s “magic”. Joseph took none of the glory for himself, and eventually he became a savior of his family and of much of the ancient world.
Daniel in Babylon
“Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.” -Daniel 6:3
Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, Cyrus. These are just some of the pagan rulers Daniel had to deal with. His oppressors were ruthless in their conquest. Daniel held to the Bible and its truths time and again. He was hated, plotted against, and betrayed, but he maintained an excellent spirit throughout every ordeal. Somehow, he always stayed close to the seat of power and influenced it over and over for the preservation of his people. Perhaps he read the Proverb, ‘He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.” -17:27
Mordecai in Persia
“For Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.” -Esther 9:4
No person can deny that Persian culture was opposed to Biblical influences. The king Ahasuerus reigned from India to Ethiopia with an iron hand. His lieutenant Haman was very averse to the Biblical culture of the Jews. He schemed for their destruction. The king was an immoral man with poor judgement, but could not deny the loyal service and skillful diplomacy of Mordecai – or the beauty of Esther. Of course, Mordecai was Esther’s chief influence, and he raised her in the way of the Word. When it came time for her to fulfill her destiny, she did not blink.
Paul in Rome
“All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.” -Philippians 4:22
While Nero remains one of the most infamously murderous Caesars to this day, Paul actually used his Roman citizenship for an advantage in the work of the Gospel ministry. His appeal to Caesar not only spared his life for years to come, but got him free passage to Rome at Rome’s expense. Along the way he won his shipmates, housemates and even his guards. He preached to kings and governors. Ultimately he was able to preach the Gospel to Nero himself on at least two occasions. He was successful in converting some of Caesar’s own house. Today Paul’s letter to the Romans is printed and shared in most of the languages of the world.