The Bible reveals that God appointed kings of gentile nations in ages past, even those who oppressed Israel. He appointed all of Israel’s kings both good and evil, and He appoints all governmental leaders in this present age.
God has an immutable plan for all nations and His plan is right on schedule. A major problem arises when kings and presidents credit themselves for their achievements and agendas.
Consider Israel’s first king Saul who reigned from 1050BC to 1010BC. Recall that Israel’s leaders asked for a king so they could be like all the other nations. God told Samuel to warn the Israelites what it would be like to have a king.
“He will take your sons and appoint them for his own…He will appoint captains over his thousands…He will take your daughters to be perfumers…and he will take the best of your fields…and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain…and give it to his officers…and he will take your male servants…he will take a tenth of your sheep…”
1 Samuel 8:11-17
So God told the Israelites via Samuel that their desired king would issue numerous executive orders and make many appointments, and that he would take from them and give to others for his own purposes.
God also told the Israelites that there would be great buyer’s remorse, but to no avail.
“And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.”
1 Samuel 8:18
God allowed the Israelites to choose Saul to teach them a lesson.
“I gave you a king in My anger, and took him away in My wrath.” Hosea 13:11
Israel’s King Saul was removed not only for his personal agenda, but also because he rejected the word of the LORD.
“…for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 1 Samuel 15:26
Next consider the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. He had two dreams both of which the Hebrew Daniel interpreted. As Daniel began to interpret the first dream, he said:
“This is the dream…‘You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory…’” Daniel 2:36-37
This dream was foretelling of the future gentile kingdoms of which Babylon was to be the head of gold. The present point; however, is that Daniel advised Nebuchadnezzar that his kingdom was given to him by God.
Thereafter Nebuchadnezzar had a second dream. In that dream he again was told that God rules in the kingdom of men.
“I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. He cried aloud and said thus: …‘in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men.’” Daniel 4:13, 17
One might have expected that Nebuchadnezzar would have rid himself of any self pride of his position after being told twice that what he had was given to him. But alas, such was not the case.
“All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. As…he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon…the king spoke, saying. ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’” Daniel 4:28-30
“While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!’” Daniel 4:31
Nebuchadnezzar had fulfilled God’s purpose by taking Judah into captivity in accordance with God’s plan revealed more than 7 centuries earlier so God disposed him in shame.
So is our president more like King Saul, who rejected the word of the LORD, or is he more like King Nebuchadnezzar who was steeped in pride. Or perhaps he is more like King David, who was described as ‘a man after God’s own heart’.