Growing up, I hated history. To me it was endless dates and boring facts about people who have been dead forever. I didn’t see the point of learning what size shoes George Washington wore.
But, then I got older and thanks to a coincidence involving me being sick, the TV being on the History Channel, and a lost remote control, I gained an appreciation for History. So, I’m going to do something I vowed I would never do and that is talk about some of those people who have been dead forever. I promise there won’t be a quiz.
Through out history there have been lots of conquerors. I want to talk about 3 of them. All of them did some good things and all of them did some bad things. All of them left a lasting legacy that persists to this day.
Alexander the Great
(356-323 B.C.), king of Macedonia, conqueror of the Persian Empire, and one of the greatest military geniuses of all times.
Alexander was one of the greatest generals of all time, noted for his brilliance as a tactician and troop leader and for the rapidity with which he could traverse great expanses of territory. He was usually brave and generous, but could be cruel and ruthless when politics demanded. The theory has been advanced that he was actually an alcoholic having, for example, killed his friend Clitus in a drunken fury. He later regretted this act deeply. As a statesman and ruler he had grandiose plans; according to many modern historians he cherished a scheme for uniting the East and the West in a world empire, a new and enlightened “world brotherhood of all men.” He trained thousands of Persian youths in Macedonian tactics and enrolled them in his army. He himself adopted Persian manners and married Eastern wives, namely, Roxana and he encouraged and bribed his officers to take Persian wives. Shortly before he died, Alexander ordered the Greek cities to worship him as a god. Although he probably gave the order for political reasons, he was, in his own view and that of his contemporaries, of divine birth. The order was largely nullified by his death shortly after he issued it.
(1769-1821), emperor of the French, whose imperial dictatorship ended the French Revolution (1789-1799) while consolidating the reforms it had brought about. One of the greatest military commanders of all time, he conquered much of Europe.
Napoleon was a driven man, never secure, never satisfied. “Power is my mistress,” he said. His life was work-centered; even his social activities had a purpose. He could bear amusements or vacations only briefly. His tastes were for coarse food, bad wine, cheap snuff. He could be charming—hypnotically so—for a purpose. He had intense loyalties—to his family and old associates. Nothing and no one, however, were allowed to interfere with his work.
Napoleon was sometimes a tyrant and always an authoritarian, but one who believed in ruling by mandate of the people, expressed in plebiscites. He was also a great enlightened monarch—a civil executive of enormous capacity who changed French institutions and tried to reform the institutions of Europe and give the Continent a common law. Few deny that he was a military genius.
William the Conqueror
was Duke of Normandy from 1035 and King of England from 1066 to his death.
To claim the English crown, William invaded England in 1066, leading an army of Normans to victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces of Harold Godwinson (who died in the conflict) at the Battle of Hastings, and suppressed subsequent English revolts in what has become known as the Norman Conquest.
His reign, which brought Norman culture to England, had an enormous impact on the subsequent course of England in the Middle Ages. In addition to political changes, his reign also saw changes to English law, a program of building and fortification, changes to the vocabulary of the English language, and the introduction of continental European feudalism into England.
In 1051, citizens in a town William was besieging, taunted him about being illegitimate. Once the town had fallen to him, he ordered that those who had abused him should have their hands and feet cut off.
These are just a few of the conquerors in our past, but there is one thing that none of them could conquer. Death. There has only been one person that has conquered death. One person that controlled death. And that person is Jesus.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We will probably never be conquerors of lands and people. We will probably never have a lasting legacy of the type that the men I mentioned have. But, through Jesus Christ, we can become more than mere conquerors. These verses let us know that, through Christ, we can become great. We can become conquerors of death, conquerors of sin, and conquerors of anything that tries to keep us away from the love of Christ.
These verses let us know that there is no problem, no suffering, no trial, no disaster, no persecution, no worry, no power, no enemy, no person, no sin and not even death can keep us from God. All we have to do is accept his gift.
Maybe you have weight of a huge burden on your shoulders. That burden can’t keep you away. God can take care of it.
Maybe you have a ton of guilt. It can’t keep you away. God can lift it.
Maybe you want to start living your life for God. You want to repent of your sin, confess the name of Jesus, and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sin. Nothing can keep you away. God can remove the sin.
There is nothing God can’t handle. God is always ready to make you more than a conqueror.