Jump Start # 2717
Daniel 2:21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.”
The latest Presidential election has many Christians trying to fit things into their theology and thinking. For the most part, Christians are conservative in their thinking. There is a reason for that. The direction that the Bible leads us is a conservative path. Following authority, submission, and evidence based thinking leads to a conservative mindset. Many believed that God put Trump into the Whitehouse. But, now in this latest election, Trump lost. The conservative platform changed to a progressive platform. And, all of this has folks scratching their heads and trying to make sense of it.
Our verse today has been used a ton since the election to bring peace to troubled hearts. “I guess it’s what God wanted,” is what some have said. But I feel this verse is being used in places it was never intended and it has not fully been thought out. Now, I admit as I write this, that I may stir up some unwelcome comments and you may toss out my thinking, and that’s ok. Just let some of this soak in and think about it for a while.
First, the passage in Daniel has direct and very specific application to God’s promises, plans and provisions for Judah. The nation was being led away into Babylonian captivity. Isaiah had prophesied this. Jeremiah warned about this. So, the removing of Judah’s king and the capturing by Babylon was part of God divine plan. Later, after God had prophesied a specific time table of seventy years, Babylon would be crushed by another kingdom. That kingdom, the Persians, would allow God’s people to return to Judah, again part of God’s plans. All of this was in keeping with God’s promises to Abraham, very specific and ordained.
Second, I feel that it is a stretch to think that every single ruler in the entire world is put in place by God. Not all other nations, even during Daniel’s time, were involved in God’s eternal plan. To say that Biden won the election because God wanted him to be president, would also imply, every senate seat, every house seat, every governor’s office, every mayor’s office is just what God wanted. How far down the ladder do we go? City Council seats? School board seats? And, this, all over the entire world? Every nation? Every city?
If this be true, why even vote? God will put in office who He wants. My vote really never matters, because God will fill every single political office as He desires. Does this include judges? Does this include local sheriffs? But so many of these offices have nothing to do with God’s eternal plans.
Now, historically, what do we do with a Hitler? Wicked to the core, he was a mass murderer. Are we to assume God wanted him in that position? Some might say, “Well, each person is responsible for the actions that they make.” Yet, with a deranged lunatic like Hitler, would we expect any good out of him?
Third, we remember from Corinthians that no one knows the mind of God except what has been revealed. We must be careful about attributing things to the Lord that we are just not sure about. Did God want Trump? Does God want Biden? Did God want either one? There is a famous quote from Lincoln in which someone asked him if he thought God was on the side of the Union during the Civil War. Lincoln replied, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” Did God appoint Trump and then Biden? Using our Daniel verse today may well be taking things out of context. Yes, God appoints and removes kings. But why? Because every four years their term is up? Or, because He has a divine plan that you and I cannot see, nor fully understand. No nation and no leader can alter the plans of God. If God’s plans involve the reshaping of leaders or nations, God is able to do that. Biblical history shows that. In an instant, the Pharaoh of Egypt was killed when the walls of the Red Sea collapsed upon him. The period of Kings and Chronicles in our Bibles are filled with wars in which leaders were killed or assassinated by those who wanted to rule. Most of these involved God’s people and God’s plans that led to Jesus, from the tribe of Judah and God’s promises to Abraham. Where America fits in this is not revealed to us in Scriptures.
Saying, “This is what God wants,” is dangerous when we have no revelation pointing to that.
Fourth, whether God intended for Biden to lead this country or not, what God expects of His people has not changed. We are to pray for our leaders, first written during the time of the Caesars. We are to be submissive to the leaders, even if we don’t like them. We are to render what is due to them. God expects us to walk in the light and be examples of righteousness, even when things are hard and difficult.
So, what are we to make of this latest election? I can’t say if it turned out the way God wanted it to or not. There may be some dark days ahead for those who hold Biblical values. The progressive agenda doesn’t have much tolerance for old fashioned, Biblical standards. God’s people have gone through many dark days before. This won’t be any different. God remains upon the throne and Jesus is our King.
Those early disciples suffered during Rome’s heavy hand. But that empire is gone and the kingdom of Christ remains. It will always remain. Nothing will conquer it.
I hope these words have been helpful. There is a lot of anger, even from Christians. The country is very divided and may split even more. Our help has always come from Heaven, not the Whitehouse, or the courthouse. We must remember that no one can change what you believe. We must act as the Lord wants us to.
To God be the glory.