At the end of their rule,
when the transgressions have reached their full measure,
a king of bold countenance shall arise,
skilled in intrigue.
He shall grow strong in power,
shall cause fearful destruction,
and shall succeed in what he does.
He shall destroy the powerful
and the people of the holy ones.
By his cunning
he shall make deceit prosper under his hand,
and in his own mind he shall be great.
Without warning he shall destroy many
and shall even rise up against the Prince of princes.
But he shall be broken, and not by human hands.
(Daniel 8:23-25, NRSV)
I posted Daniel chapter 8 because we are in the midst of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is part of the larger story of Judas Maccabeus rising up against the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, throwing him off, reclaiming and purifying the Temple.
The line of Daniel 8 that always catches my attention is verse 25: “But he shall be broken, but not by human hands.” This is actually in conflict with what actually happened through the revolt of the Maccabees.
But the sentiment if important. It is the idea that regardless of what is happening, no matter how bad it is getting, God will prevail. Always. No one can prevail against God. No earthly ruler has the power. In the end they all fall.
This is good news still today. It is a reminder that no matter who is in power, their power will only be for a short time. Then it will pass on to someone else.