“While I was watching, suddenly a male goat appeared from the west, crossing the land so swiftly that he didn’t even touch the ground. This goat, which had one very large horn between its eyes, headed toward the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the river, rushing at him in a rage. The goat charged furiously at the ram and struck him, breaking off both his horns. Now the ram was helpless, and the goat knocked him down and trampled him. No one could rescue the ram from the goat’s power. The goat became very powerful. But at the height of his power, his large horn was broken off. In the large horn’s place grew four prominent horns pointing in the four directions of the earth.” Daniel 8:5-8
“The shaggy male goat represents the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes represents the first king of the Greek Empire. The four prominent horns that replaced the one large horn show that the Greek Empire will break into four kingdoms, but none as great as the first.” Daniel 8:21-22
Daniel sees Greece as an angry goat that runs so fast that his feet dosen’t even touch the ground. The large protruding horn represents Alexander the Great, who led the armies of Greece to victory after victory and extending his empire even beyond what Cyrus had done with the Persian army. But the horn was broken, for Alexander died in Babylon in June 323, at the age of thirty-three, and his vast kingdom was divided among four of his leaders, symbolized by the four horns that grew up.
The conquests of Alexander accomplished God’s purpose in the world. It helped to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus Christ and the spread of the gospel. Alexander put an end to the Oriental influence that threatened to take over the western world. He shook the ancient world to its foundation and made the old world think afresh. By extending Greek culture and language, he helped bring the people together; and eventually the common Greek became the language of the New Testament. Even though his empire divided four ways after his death, Alexander brought nations together so they could interact with each other.
What Alexander and the Greeks began, the Romans completed, helping to prepare the ancient world for the coming of Jesus Christ. Roman roads and bridges enable people to travel and share their ideas; Roman law kept the nations under control and made for more security than the world had ever known. All of this contributed to the taking of the Christian message throughout the Roman Empire. In the case of Paul, Rome paid the bill for some of the missionaries to travel.
I stand in amazement at how God works everything out to His glory. Even in my life I can look back and see God’s plan working out to His glory.