Israel—Conquered, Captured and Controlled


Israel's capture by Gentile powers proved to be a major turning point for the nation.

As we learned in the last chapter, the nation of Israel did not want God to reign over them (1 Samuel 8:7). They rejected the Lord as their King and Ruler.   They did not want to submit to God as their King.  They did not want God telling them what to do.

People must be ruled by someone or something.

They must be ruled by

OR they must be ruled by one or more of the following:

Long ago, God warned Cain that if he did not R________ over sin, then sin would rule over him and destroy him (Genesis 4:7)! Many of Israel’s kings refused to submit to God's rule (see Lesson 6). They wanted to do their own thing and be their own king. For many years God was longsuffering and did not judge His people. Finally, when God could hold back His judgment no longer, the LORD sent foreign invaders into the land resulting in captivity and slavery, just as He had said in Deuteronomy 28:15-68! This happened first in the Northern Kingdom of Israel and later in the Southern Kingdom of Judah:

One of the men from Judah who was carried away captive by the Babylonians was Daniel, a young man who loved and feared the LORD (he was really the LORD’s captive!). In Daniel chapter 2, the king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar) had a dream which no one could explain or interpret except Daniel. In this dream the king saw a great image (statue) which represented the four great world kingdoms up to the time when Christ the Messiah would return as King.

During the time of these great kingdoms, the children of Israel are under Gentile rule (they are being ruled by other nations). The Bible calls this period "the T___________  of the G__________________" (Luke 21:24). Because of its sin and rejection of God’s rule, the nation Israel was captured and ruled by other nations and other peoples.

Daniel chapter 2 describes the world kingdoms from man's point of view, as a great and glorious statue made of different metals and precious stones (in Daniel chapter 7 we see these same kingdoms described from God's point of view as wild beasts). This statue which was seen in the king’s dream is illustrated below:

The Israelites were ruled by the king of Babylon. Later the Israelites were ruled by Persian kings (during the days of Ezra, Esther and Nehemiah). Then they were ruled by the Greeks. In the days of the New Testament they were ruled by the Romans. These same four kingdoms or world empires are seen in Daniel chapter 7 from God's point of view, as savage and ruthless BEASTS:


(Babylon) Daniel 7:4




(Media-Persia) Daniel 7:5




Daniel 7:6



Daniel 7:7


For hundreds and hundreds of years Israel has been ruled by beasts (by wicked Gentile powers who were often very cruel). This is still true today as Jews are living among the nations of the world. Israel has suffered greatly because they refused to let God be their King and Ruler.  Read John 19:15.  What does this verse tell us about the Jewish leaders who were living at the time of Christ?   Did they reject God as their King?

As you look around the world today, do you see nations conquering and being conquered? Are you looking forward to the greatest kingdom of all (Daniel 2:44; 7:13-14; Revelation 11:15)?

What about you? Who rules your life? Who is your King?  Who is the President of your life?  Whose rules do you follow?  Has sin taken over your life and made you a slave, or has God taken over your life and made you free to serve Him? Are you a captive of sinful men or self or sin or Satan, or are you a captive of Christ? Has He conquered you? Has He captivated you? Does He control you? Does He care for you?  How can you show others that He rules your life?

"Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants"
--William Penn

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