He was one of the greatest and most powerful world rulers of ancient history, but one night he had a troubling dream. In it, he was standing outside and in front of him loomed a gigantic tree, far taller than any he had ever seen. It towered over the earth reaching to the heavens. It was so tall that it was visible in far-away lands. The leaves that covered it were gorgeous and luscious fruit was on every branch. In it and swirling around it were birds of every kind and beneath it animals rested in the shade. People from far away came to feast from it.
But then began a frightening vision.
A supernatural Being of great power descended from the sky and stood above the tree. A proclamation was given. The tree was to be cut down, stripped of its leaves and branches and left in the field like a rotting skeleton. Only the stump would remain, banded with iron and bronze.
Then the message of this supernatural Being became even more horrifying. The tree represented a person. This person would be given the heart of a beast and live like an ox covered with the dew of heaven and filling his belly with grass for seven long years. Why was this going to happen? The Being stated the reason:
“This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.”
When the ruler awoke, he was very disturbed.
Of course, the story is found in the Old Testament Book of Daniel, chapter four. The world ruler was King Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most powerful men who has ever lived.
The morning after the dream, Nebuchadnezzar entered his courtroom, and called in his magicians and astrologers. None of them could interpret what he had seen. Then he called in Daniel and described the vision.
When Daniel heard it he was stunned. For a long moment, all he could do was stare in horror. Instantly, he knew what the dream meant and it terrified him. Before he gave his interpretation, he told Nebuchadnezzar that he wished with all his heart that it would apply only to the king’s enemies. But it didn’t. The tree was Nebuchadnezzar himself. In spite of all his greatness and power, God had decreed judgement against him. These are Daniel’s words:
“They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”
Then, with a broken heart, Daniel urges:
“Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.”
Nebuchadnezzar did not take this advice.
Instead, this is what he did:
At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”
While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”
That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
This is a frightening story for the times in which we live.
I am not a prophet, only a storyteller. But stories have meaning and if you listen they will whisper that meaning and whisper how they will end. On 26 July 2016 I posted on this blog my essay, Over Man: The Temptation of Donald Trump. It is still available here to read. For me, the next phase of Mr. Trump’s story was becoming clear like an ever-growing wave. It was inevitable that he would be elected that fall. At that time, very few people believed that his election could be possible. I’m not sure even he believed it. Yet, that is what happened.
After three years, once again, his story is becoming clear. Why? Because never has such insane arrogance, such horrifying pride been communicated to the world by a President of the United States. As never before, his words and actions have revealed who he really is and has always been.
Every story has an end and the rhyme of it is there from the start.
As far as Donald Trump is concerned, there is no joy in writing those words, only sorrow. Nebuchadnezzar was not a man who had thousands of years of truth available to him as President Trump has had, truth about who God is and how he deals with leaders, truth about the absolute necessity to repent before it is too late. God allows evil leaders to grow in power and glory for a period of time, but then they are destroyed. And the greater their arrogance, the more awful their fall.
Daniel urged Nebuchadnezzar to repent from his many sins, the worst of which was his staggering pride. How should that repentance be displayed to the world? By showing mercy to the poor. It seems clear that was something the great king had never done. Donald Trump has built a personal empire that seems to glitter with gold. He has claimed world-renown for his great skills and wisdom. But it is an empire built on lies and greed and the cleverness of a cheating thief. What looks like gold is nothing but gold-plating to cover the feces inside.
Throughout his life Mr. Trump has been merciless to the poor. He has cheated those who worked for him, keeping for himself money that was owed and calling his dishonesty and injustice shrewd business wisdom. He views his structures as fortresses and he is the god who rules over them. He worships himself. In that worship he has believed that anything he wants is there for the taking, from the power of the Presidency to the bodies of women. His wedding vows have meant even less than the contracts he made with his builders. All of this is absolutely clear in the public record, the personal witness of so many and his very own words. He has stated that he feels no need to repent for anything.
During the three years of his presidency, Mr. Trump’s arrogance has grown beyond anything it was in the past. He rules through gloating mockery. His greatest mockery is for the sheep who passionately follow him. He mocks them by pandering to their greed and fear, by callously using their passion to advance his power and ego. He cares nothing for the poor and needy viewing them as worthless trash to be removed.
As I have written before, to me the greatest tragedy is that so many who claim to be “Christians” have fallen under Donald Trump’s dark spell. They believe that God established him to “Make America Great Again”. Not since the “Christians” of Germany passionately supported Adolph Hitler have “Christians” so blindly supported such a clearly evil man. In their ignorance, they mistake what God has done. He didn’t anoint Donald Trump to save us. He allowed Donald Trump to be President to show all Americans who we really are. And that vision is frightening. On the left, the right, and in the middle, we are a nation that wallows in hate, anger, greed, self-pity and lust, yet we think of ourselves as good and righteous people. We have the First Executive of Fear that we deserve.
What is the end of the Donald Trump story?
I do not know the details, but such an evil story will have a frighteningly evil end. All the violence that he has done with his words and selfish deeds will come back on him and his children. As he has done violence to so many and infected his followers with cold disdain for the poor and needy, so I fear great violence and disdain are coming on him. Why? Because God is not mocked, what we sow we reap. And all those who have so passionately supported him will reap bitterness, self-pity and rage when the end of his story arrives.
Woe to those “Christian” leaders, those wolves and false teachers, who have given this evil man their glowing endorsement and have encouraged him every step of the way instead of confronting him with the truth of his dire future. Instead, to advance their own power, they have enticed millions to suck at Donald Trump’s foul nipple. They are blind leaders of the blind and will pay a special price. What sorrow! I pray for President Trump and I pray for them all.
Will Donald Trump be re-elected?
I doubt that we will be free of him so easily, but whether he is or not, the great evil will go on. What comes after him may appear to be a relief to those who hate this President, but it will prove to be the opposite. Why? Because Donald Trump is not the cause of all the evil that is in us. He is only an expression and an expansion of it. Those who hate him are just as deluded as those who love him. Both those who hate him and those who love him are his slaves. He could not exist without their fervid passions that feed his soul. Those raging passions will continue after he is gone, growing worse in a swirling circle of hate and a desperate desire for revenge. One bloody expression of this will be in the physical violence that no gun control will begin to stop. The darkest spirits now rule this land and I mean that quite literally. No election will remove them. Their power will go on, expressed in the crushing fragmentation of America as we destroy ourselves.
What is the answer to all of this horror? Is there any hope? Neither side wants to hear the answer. Neither side will believe it. What was the only hope for Nebuchadnezzar? What is the only hope for Donald Trump? What is the only hope for us? It is not faith in our Constitution or form of government. Our only hope is personal and national repentance before God, humbling ourselves beneath His mighty hand, repenting for all of our evil and asking for His forgiveness and healing. In particular, it means repenting for our heartless treatment of the poor and downtrodden, because they are close to God’s Heart. This includes the weakest and poorest among us, unborn children. Repentance means turning away from the bloodthirsty lies that we have accepted as selfish “rights”.
But repentance will never happen because millions do not believe in God at all and millions think He exists to do their will. Millions more simply don’t care. What they believe in is nature, or Instagram or lattes. But without national and individual repentance before our Creator we face doom. Will it come tomorrow or next year? I don’t know, but it will come and probably like the slow cancer in the national soul that it really is. We are now under the iron rule of the Tyranny of Fear.
Writing all of this, I feel nothing but the deepest sorrow, sorrow my grandchildren and yours, sorrow for my great-granddaughter who is about to be born. I love America, but my faith has never been in this nation, her institutions, or her people. It has never been in a single leader, political party or political philosophy. My faith is in Jesus Christ, the King, and in His Kingdom. It is the true Kingdom of God that will come for those who repent and believe. Sadly, for those who refuse to repent and believe, in the future they will see that Kingdom, but never share in it.