Power Struggles Continue

Power struggles are not new. The first such instance was between God and His created being, Lucifer, son of the morning. Notice the excessive use of the personal pronoun ‘I’ in Lucifer’s following proclamation.

“…I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”
Isaiah 14:13-14

The Bible is very clear concerning God’s reaction to Lucifer’s prideful intentions and rhetoric.

“Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.”
Isaiah 12:15

When the Assyrian king Sennacherib was planning to overrun Jerusalem during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah he took full credit for his imperialistic endeavors and spoke boastfully about his powers.

“I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the limits of Lebanon; I will cut down its tall cedars…I will enter the extremity of its borders…I have dug and drunk strange water, and with the soles of my feet I have dried up all the brooks of defense.”
2 Kings 19:23-24

But the king of Assyria was rebuked, in fact laughed at, by Israel’s God who reminded Sennacherib that He, God, was using Sennacherib to perform His plan. When world leaders attribute their successes to their own doing, they will be deposed in God’s time.

“The virgin, the daughter of Zion, has despised you, laughed you to scorn…whom have you reproached and blasphemed: Against whom have you raised your voice, and lifted up your eyes on high: Against the Holy One of Israel…Did you not hear long ago how I made it, from ancient times that I formed it?…Now I have brought it to pass, that you should be for crushing fortified cities into heaps of ruins…Because your rage against Me and your tumult have come up to My ears, therefore I will put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way which you came.”
2 Kings 19:21-22, 25, 28

Following the Assyrian empire appeared the Babylonian empire and king Nebuchadnezzar who made an image of gold representing his own greatness and required everyone to fall down to worship his image. Anyone who refused to do so was to be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. We all know the rest of that story. Subsequently Nebuchadnezzar was humiliated by being consigned to eat grass like oxen until he acknowledged the sovereignty of God.

“…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

The Roman military governor Pilate provided a vivid New Testament example of self exaltation.

“Then Pilate said to Him (Jesus), ‘…Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?’ Jesus answered, ‘You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.’”

John 19:10-11

Acknowledging the sovereignty of God according to the Bible has been an issue throughout the ages. There are those who put forward their own agenda without first consulting Biblical teachings. Such occurrences are also marked by the excessive use of the personal pronoun ‘I’. A relatively current example was seen in our president’s ‘new beginning’ address to the Muslim world in Cairo in 2009.

• I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world…

• I also know civilization’s debt to Islam…

• I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story…

• I consider it part of my responsibility…to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear…

• I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam…

• I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy…let it be clear; no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other…

• I am committed to working with American Muslims…it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit…

• I saw it firsthand as a child in Indonesia, Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance…

• I am a Christian…

It is clear that President Obama believes that Christianity and Islam are not only compatible, but are in fact synergistic. The name given to such common ground is ‘Chrislam.’ We need to accept that our president means well, however, many believe that he ascribes more power and wisdom to himself than Biblically warranted. We also need to remember that God sets over kingdoms whomever He chooses to fulfill His purpose.

“…For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God…”
Romans 13:1

There is little question that President Obama is a strong willed individual. Time will tell if history will repeat itself.

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