The doctrine of the sovereignty of God reigns supreme throughout the Bible. This sovereignty includes the appointment and mission of the world’s leaders, including the president of the United States.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Romans 13:1
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” Proverbs 21:1
Even in light of these scriptural truths, it is not always easy to respect leaders. Consider George W. Bush for example. He was literally hated by many for his position on the Iraq war and his lax fiscal policies during the latter years of his presidency. And his haters were very transparent about their feelings. Perhaps the last thought in their minds was that God had appointed Mr. Bush as president and guided his policies.
We’ll site several other historical examples where God has appointed and directed the actions of world leaders.
Firstly, however, it should be noted that the future of the nations has already been written and it is all about Israel. As previously noted God established Israel to show the rest of the world that He is God. The history of the nations, past, present, or future, centers on fulfilling God’s plan for Israel. He uses other nations to protect Israel and He uses other nations to chastise Israel.
When God established Israel He made a very clear promise to Abraham.
“Now the LORD had said to Abram: …‘I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you…’” Genesis 12:1-3
If these immutable words were inscribed in granite and set in the lobby of the United Nations center, who do you suppose would oppose it most vehemently? Would it be the most outrageously offensive to the ACLU or CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) or the World Council of Churches? These three organizations would be falling over each other to have that passage of God’s words removed.
In the 6th century BC Judah was to be deported to Babylon for 70 years because she had failed to let their land rest every 7th year. They ignored 70 Sabbaths over a 490 year time period and therefore were to spend one year in captivity for each year that they ignored the Sabbath. After the 70 years in Babylon Judah would be allowed to return to her own land.
“And those…he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants…until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.” 2 Chronicles 36:20-21
However, approximately 150 years before the captivity began; God outlined a detailed plan for another heathen nation to rescue them from Babylonian captivity. He even called that nation’s king by name many years before he was even born.
“Thus says the LORD…Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure…’ Thus says the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held – to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors so that the gates will not be shut… ‘I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other…’” Isaiah 44:1-45:5
Isaiah began prophesying in 739 BC. Consider the fulfillment nearly 200 years later in 538 BC.
“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom…Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: ‘All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me and He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah…’” Ezra 1:1-2
Consider the sovereignty of God exhibited in the Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser. God used this Assyrian king to chastise Israel. Tiglath-Pileser took credit for his own actions and ignored the sovereignty of God.
“Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath I will give him charge…Yet he does not mean so, nor does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy…For he says, ‘By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent…’ Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up…Therefore… the LORD of hosts, will send leanness among his fat ones…” Isaiah 10:5-16
And lest we forget, God uses ordinary men to fulfill His purpose for Israel.
“…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 4:17
In view of the continued overriding sovereignty of God in the affairs of men and nations, perhaps some of the actions and attitudes of the present administration can be more easily accepted, or perhaps not.