Jesus Christ and the End of Empires
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
From Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s ‘Antifragile’:
If one looks at history as a complex system similar to nature, then, like nature, it won’t let a single empire dominate the planet forever – even if every superpower from the Babylonians to the Egyptians to the Persians to the Romans to modern America has believed in the permanence of its domination….
The reason is God is sovereign and rules over history while guiding it to His determined end. That end is for the nations to be ruled by the kingdom of Jesus Christ, being taught the laws and commands of God and walking in obedience to them.
The end of empires is probably at hand, but if China manages to expand its influence and power to the point of dominating the eastern hemisphere, it is unlikely that any other power would replace it over time.
There’s the possibility that India could arise if China becomes the dominant world power, but it would take a long time with the enormous number of challenges the nation faces.
While America will diminish, it will still remain the main player in the Western hemisphere, while China has more influence in the East.
There are a lot of pieces at play here, including how long it’ll take for the EU to collapse, the inroads China will make in Africa, and the degree other countries like Brazil will seek economic ties with China at higher levels than they have now.
The major reason I’m not convinced China will emerge as a world power is because a lot of what it is and does is derived from other nations, rather than originating from itself. There’s also the fact that some of its economy is built on sand rather than a solid foundation; I’m thinking of its ghost cities and the response of other nations to its attempts to monopolize rare earth commodities that are important in developing tech products.
There will remain a number of strong nations in the years ahead, but I think the probability of a new empire emerging is very small. Most likely we’ll see a increasing move toward nationalism, where the focus will be on taking care of their own house first, and from there developing trade treaties that will be beneficial to all participants, rather than weighted too much on one side of the agreement. That should build up healthier economies for nations that follow Jesus Christ and enter into relationships with other nations from a position of health and strength.
Not all nations will engage in that vision, but those that do will reap the benefits of walking in obedience to the commands in the Bible that show how we are to treat one another in all areas of life.
However this plays out in the short term, in the decades and centuries ahead, we will see the inevitable fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 2:44, where he prophecies God will set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, while breaking in pieces and consuming all other kingdoms.
His kingdom will permeate all areas of life and make the nations of the world to walk in obedience to His commands, as the fulfillment to His command to Adam to have dominion over the earth, is brought to fruition and fulfillment.