He Raises Up Kings

In recent weeks and months, several prominent changes in global leadership have taken place. In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu returned to his position of power as Prime Minister of Israel, despite his indictment in a national scandal. After an exceptionally short 50-day stint as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss resigned, giving way for Rishi Sunak to take her place. In the United States, mid-term elections shifted the balance of partisan power in Congress and several gubernatorial seats among the states. The recent changes in political power appear as a game of chess, in which different pieces take their positions according to the strategy of the players.

Understanding biblical prophecy, we know that God is working out His Will to carry out His plan. He is the one moving the chess pieces on the chessboard of geopolitical power. Even though this is Satan’s world who gives his power to whomever he wants, he can do nothing against God’s Will, and sometimes, God intervenes directly to carry out His plan. Daniel acknowledged God’s preeminence as he reflected upon the rulership of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding” (Daniel 2:21). It might seem surprising for Daniel to acknowledge God’s divine role in placing Nebuchadnezzar in power, considering that he had taken the nation of Judah captive. Yet, God had a purpose in using Nebuchadnezzar to execute His Will. Why should we think that anything would be different today?

God is the One who may bring leaders to power for a purpose that He designs according to His Will. In Daniel’s time, God used Nebuchadnezzar to bring Judah into captivity as a punishment because of their disobedience. To the human mind, it might seem cruel to raise up a devious king for the purpose of punishment, but God executes His plan perfectly to bring about the results that He designs.

As He used Nebuchadnezzar to punish Judah in the time of Daniel, God will likewise use Assyria again in the future for the purpose of punishment. “‘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, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.’” (Isaiah 10:5-6). The modern nation of Assyria, which we understand to be the nations of Germany and Austria today, will rise to power according to the Will of God as a rod of punishment against the descendants of the Israelite nations because they have strayed from Him and embraced sin. Sadly, even the extreme circumstances that the Bible prophesies will not be sufficient to wake many people up from the state of sinful stupor they are in.

Knowing that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (compare Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8), we can be confident that He continues to bring about changes in leadership according to His Will today. The recent changes in leadership around the world have taken place according to His Will. This does not mean that God necessarily caused those changes directly, but He allowed them to occur for His reasons. And His purpose is completely different from those who participate in elections to bring about their own human will. “‘They set up kings, but not by Me; They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them. From their silver and gold They made idols for themselves—That they might be cut off’” (Hosea 8:4).

It displeases God to see mankind forsake Him and make feeble attempts to improve the world through leaders they elect. The effect is the election of individuals who may even carry out the Will of God—but in ways that they do not expect. According to biblical prophecy, the elected leaders in the world today will only bring further decay, resulting in terrible circumstances throughout the world.

Some will try to make the argument that it is the duty of Christians to vote in governmental elections so that virtuous leaders can take positions of power. Yet, it is clear that even the most so-called virtuous politicians fall far short of living and promoting a godly life. Many times, those who come to power are not virtuous at all, but God may use them to carry out His desire and plan under certain circumstances. It will take the return of Jesus Christ to establish God’s government to make any meaningful correction. For this reason, we do NOT vote in governmental elections, nor do we participate in worldly politics. To do so is futile because Satan is the god of this world, and governments function according to the policies of man, not God.

Even though the current circumstances in the world seem hopeless, we look forward to the leadership of Jesus Christ! His government will bring about a complete transformation over the face of the Earth, putting an end to war and establishing peace forever (compare Isaiah 9:6-7). At that time God will continue to raise up kings. Those leaders will be the ones who have overcome the world of sin by tenaciously clinging to the ways of godly righteousness. In Revelation 1:5, John honors Jesus Christ saying, “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” If we are able to endure in our love for this Way of Life, those kings whom God will raise up will include you and me.