The Two Kings of Babylon
Scripture promises restoration. Take Saddam Hussein, for instance. This one-time President of Iraq was the modern King of Babylon. He walked on the soil of ancient Babylon, rebuilt its ruins, and considered himself to be the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar himself. Saddam minted coins with his likeness on one side, and Nebuchadnezzar’s on the other. It was a galling reminder. Nebuchadnezzar was the king who besieged Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, slaughtered innocent Hebrews, and captured the finest citizens for seventy years of exile.
Saddam, the modern Nebuchadnezzar, wanted to injure innocent people, as well. The exact number he slaughtered may never be known. But, estimates range as high as half a million people. He filled more than 250 mass graves with Shiite and Kurdish civilians. He started the Gulf War. He invaded Kuwait. He dropped scud missiles on Tel Aviv.
The Book of Daniel describes how Nebuchadnezzar departed his golden palace to dwell in the field and forage for food like an animal. In a parallel with him, Saddam fled his royal residence to live in a pit like a beast crouching among vermin.
Despite his war crimes, brutal genocide, and horrific acts against humanity, the Father had already scheduled a restoration. But, the timing was specific. On Tevet 10 nearly 2,600 years ago, Nebuchadnezzar strangled Jerusalem. This sad day is commemorated with the Fast of the Tenth Month. Yet, on the eve of this same day, justice prevailed and restoration began. On the eve of Tevet 10, Saddam Hussein was executed. The modern King of Babylon met his demise on December 30, 2006. He was hung on the anniversary of that fateful day long ago when the ancient King of Babylon attacked Jerusalem. According to this biblical pattern, God really does transform days of sadness into days of relief and celebration.
Published January 9, 2018