Again, don’t expect me to say anything original about the election in this blog post. So many bloggers, teachers and pastors (including my pastor in his sermon this past Sunday) have already made it clear that God is sovereign. Whether or not we like the person who wins the White House week after next, we can trust His purposes in putting that person there.
To put a finer point on it, He will most likely place either Hillary or Trump in the office of United States President, just as He placed Nero as Emperor of Rome in the First Century. He will order the votes of the American people just as He ordered Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Jerusalem that took them into the Babylonian Captivity.
The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord. ~~Proverbs 16:33
But, we ask as we wring our hands, why would the Lord put either Trump or Hillary in arguably the most powerful position in the world? Both, as we noted last time, are notoriously wicked people who demonstrate absolutely no regard for God or His ways. Why hasn’t He given us a president, during the 43 years that abortion has been legal, who would appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court?
To be honest, God looks pretty impotent when we survey the leadership of the United States of America over the past 50 years. Even Ronald Reagan, who has practically been canonized by conservative Republicans, failed to make any strides toward overturning Roe v. Wade. And just over a year ago, God allowed the Obergefell decision, opening a Pandora’s box normalizing all sorts of sexual perversion.
Yet Daniel, while living in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace as a slave, affirmed that the Lord sovereignly appoints every ruler, regardless of that ruler’s knowledge of or obedience to Him. King Nebuchadnezzar commanded young Daniel to not only interpret a dream he’d had, but to tell him what the dream was. Failure to do so would result in Daniel’s execution. Remarkably, although Daniel knew he couldn’t fulfill the king’s demands apart from God’s miraculous intervention, he didn’t complain that God had mistakenly put an unreasonable tyrant on the throne. Instead, he worshiped the Lord for His sovereignty:
20 Daniel answered and said:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
22 he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him.
23 To you, O God of my fathers,
I give thanks and praise,
for you have given me wisdom and might,
and have now made known to me what we asked of you,
for you have made known to us the king’s matter.” ~~Daniel 2:20-23 (ESV)
Did you catch that second clause in verse 21? “He removes kings and sets up kings,” it says. As heathen and overbearing as Nebuchadnezzar was, Daniel believed God had established him as Babylon’s king.
I’m well aware that Hillary Clinton’s presidency would severely limit religious liberty in this country. I have little confidence that Donald Trump would protect religious liberty. Neither one exhibits signs of a genuine faith in Christ, or even an interest in appearing to be Christian. But, whether we understand it or not, the Lord has a purpose for placing one of them in the Oval Office.
Mourning over our country’s rebellion is absolutely appropriate, so please don’t misunderstand me as rejoicing that a wicked person will once again be its president. We should grieve at the further increase of sin, brought on by legislation and public policy that actually celebrates that sin. At the same time, however, we certainly can rejoice in knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, remains in complete control.