He raises Emperors and deposes them

This April I spent a happy afternoon in the Naples Archaeological Museum. Contained therein are hundreds of original statues, many of which depict the great early emperors. Although some were better than others, they all claimed divinity, persecuted God's people and worshipped idols. They are now in Hades awaiting judgement. Truly, the words of Daniel in the fifth chapter of his book to Belshazzar apply to them also:

Then Daniel answered, and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation. O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honour. And because of the majesty that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he executed; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.

“But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. And this is the inscription that was written:


These words were translated by Daniel to mean that the king's days were numbered, he has been found wanting, and his kingdom will be given to another. All this is true of Rome's great emperors. Worldly glory is fleeting and cheap. 

Hadrian, emperor of the biggest empire on earth. Now dead and ruling nothing. 

Vespesian, founder of the Flavian dynasty. Great general and victor of Judaea. Now commanding no-one.

Julius Caesar, the one after whom they're all named. Even Tsar and Kaiser are words that pay him tribute. 

The top photograph is of the 'divine' Augustus, who, the moment he died, realised how undivine he really was.