DIVIDED EUROPE: THE TOES OF IRON AND CLAY
Meanwhile, hordes of barbarians from the east, pressed heavily upon the northern borders of the Roman Empire. Some were absorbed therein; others made inroads by force of arms. In 476 A.D. Rome was occupied by Odoacer, King of the Heruli. But the Empire as such was never really conquered; it disintegrated. It became divided by factions, and in course of time, 10 smaller nations, answering to the 10 toes of the image, quarrelled over the corpse of the Empire, and laid the foundation for modem Europe.
The Papacy arose to unite these independent nations by religion and force of arms, so that the Holy Roman Empire was established in the west. But politically, the old Empire was replaced by a number of quarrelling smaller nations, independent of each other, some strong and others weak. It answered to the requirements of Daniel 2:
“As the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry day, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”
“Iron and clay”: Imperialism and Communism: “partly strong, partly broken”: some powerful, some weak; “shall not cleave, nor mix:” a disrupted divided state among the nations.
These are the requirements of the prophecy, and they are exhibited in world conditions today.
Since the Roman Empire broke up, there has arisen no power capable of welding the diverse nations of Europe into one strong, united power. The Continent remains disunited, with some nations strong and others weak. Several have attempted to revive the Roman Empire, but all have failed. Frederick the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, all saw it as an objective, but destiny was against them. Others have attempted to bring unity through such organizations as the League of Nations and the United Nations Organization, but failure has underlined these efforts also.
The prophecy of Daniel 2 has been completely vindicated by 2,500 years of history. He predicted the uprise of four great world empires known to history as Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, and then correctly showed that these would be followed by a number of independent and antagonistic nations.
The remarkable fulfilment of his prophecy shows that every confidence can be placed in the predictions of the Bible, and that they do reveal the shape of things to come. The Bible constitutes the light of truth and Divine revelation in the midst of the darkness of man’s philosophy and rule. Individual salvation is promised in its pages, for all who will embrace its truth, and fulfil the requirements of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Mark 16:16).
Next time…. RUSSIAN CONFEDERACY: THE IMAGE UNITED
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