10-29-2016 God establishes our rulers
How many of us regularly pray for the leaders of our towns, states, provinces or countries? How many of us realize that no matter where we live, our mayors, governors, national level representatives, our presidents (I speak as an American) or heads of state are placed in position by our sovereign God. That is no matter by what procedure they think they have gained their position, God set the stage for them to be where they are. To illustrate what I mean, I’d like to use the book of Daniel and king Nebuchadnezzar. Then I’d like to share what our responsibilities are in respect to these men and women in authority over us with several passages from the New Testament, which apply, no matter where we live.
Twice, Daniel was summoned before Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, to interpret dreams the king had dreamed.
Our first situation is the statue of gold, silver, brass, iron and clay (Daniel 2:1-49). Nebuchadnezzar was troubled by the dream which he couldn’t remember so he commanded his magicians, sorcerers and the like, not only interpret the dream, but also declare what it was. When they failed to do so, He commanded that all these ‘wise’ men, who could do nothing, be executed, including Daniel (who was not summoned initially). Before the execution commenced, Daniel requested an audience with the king. In short before the king, Daniel identified God as one who interprets dreams so, having consulted with the Lord, he told the king his dream and the interpretation, but in the process, he acknowledged the power and authority God had given Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel said to the king “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever for wisdom and might are His. He changes the times and the seasons, He removes kings and sets up kings, He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those of understanding. He reveals the deep, secret things. He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with Him” (Dan. 2:20-22).
And part of the interpretation was “You, oh, king are a king of kings. For the God of Heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength and glory. He’s given into your hand wherever the children of men are or the beast of the field or the birds of heaven and He has made you a ruler over them all.” (Dan. 2:37-38)
Daniel goes on to explain the dream but look at what he says about God and Nebuchadnezzar. He praises God that He reveals all things as well as the extent of His power. Then Daniel tells the king that God gives rulers what they have – strength, power and dominion and defines Nebuchadnezzar’s boundaries.
In the second dream, Daniels prophecies Nebuchadnezzar’s fall from grace, madness and restoration. At the end of the interpretation, Daniel cites the authority of the dream and again God’s sovereignty.
Again speaking to king Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel says “This matter (the dream) is by the decree of the watchers (‘guardian’ angels) and by the word of the holy ones (according to referenced sources, same as watchers) for the purpose that the living might know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of men and gives (those kingdoms) to whomsoever He will and sets up the most humble of men.” (Dan. 4:17)
In a nut shell, no man has any power or authority unless God gives it to him because He and He alone is able.
In the New Testament we find: Let every soul be subject to the higher powers for there is no power except from God and the powers that are, are ordained of (belong to, comes from) God. (Romans 13:1)
Therefore who resists the power, resists the ordinance of God and they shall be the recipients of damnation. (Romans 13:2)
For rulers aren’t a terror to those who do good but those who do evil. Therefore will you be afraid of the power, but do good and you shall be praised by the same (in authority). (Romans 13:3)
He (the ruler) is the minister of God to the well-being of the good but he doesn’t bear the sword in vain towards those who are evil for he is the minister of God to execute revenge and wrath upon those who do evil. (Romans 13:4)
Therefore we need to be subject, not just because of wrath, but for our own conscience’s sake. (Romans 13:5)
In short, God sets our leaders over us to keep order and make life bearable. When we step out of line, we suffer the consequences, but it is well, when we go by the rules. And we need to remember, we have One who knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts (Heb. 4:12) so whatever we do, we do with all our energy unto the Lord and not to please men. (Colossians 3:23)
We can move in confidence because we know that no one, no one, has power over us without God’s permission (John 19:11, also read book of Job especially verses 42:1-6)
So what is our duty in respects to those in authority over us?
Therefore I exhort you to give all prayers, intercessions and supplications for all men first. (1 Tim. 2:1)
Then for kings, who are in authority that we might lead quiet and peaceful lives in Godliness and honesty. (1 Tim. 2:2)
For this is good and acceptable in the sigh of God, our Savior. (1 Tim. 2:3)
So Father sets those in rule over us, no matter where we live. However, wherever we have a voice in who those rulers are, we should exercise that privilege. As Christians, we should prayerfully evaluate the candidates. That is get all the information available and seek God as to which is the right choice and exactly who is God’s choice. Then let the Holy Ghost guide our actions.
Because of rumors here in America, I would strongly suggest that it wouldn’t hurt to pray that God provides accurate tabulations of whatever type of voting mechanism is used, paper or electronic. With all the electronic genius’ out there today and with paper, where there is a desire, there is no problem manipulating results.
We need to remember that as we pray, we don’t ask the Lord to give us what we deserve, but rather what we truly need for our respective realms where we live. What we need? So it would be well with us.
We need to do our part by doing what Father tells us and what He puts on our hearts, then do it.
When we do nothing, the enemy has his way and we have no right to complain when results are contrary to our hopes.
As I’m jotting this down, King Saul comes to mind. Israel wanted a king just like other countries. Saul seemed to fit the bill. He was tall, head and shoulders above everyone else, good looking and apparently an all-around ‘nice guy’. (1 Sam. Chapters 9 & 10). God gave the people what they asked for, Saul. It just didn’t turn out so good and finally God did set His choice on the throne, David (2 Sam. 5:1-4).
We need to definitely speak our voice (by voting) as we seek God’s direction. But we need to do it prayerfully, especially when the world is moving so far away from God. Amen