God is sovereign over governments.
“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all” (Ps. 103:19). He is unreachable; no man or any power can unseat Him or wrest rule from His hands. “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3).
God “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). This includes all the bad rulers and rulings in history. “Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?” (Lam. 3:37). Regarding the most horrendous injustice in all of history, the first Christians observed that Herod, Pilate, Gentiles and Jews (representatives of rulers and of all mankind) joined together to put Jesus to death, “to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur” (Acts 4:27-28). It isn’t that God forced them to sin; they freely did what they wanted to do. Simultaneously, no people in power do anything that is not sovereignly overruled by God.
God sets the boundaries and times of all nations (Acts 17:26; Dan. 2:21, 25, 37). He raises every ruler and removes them (Ps. 75:6-7; Dan. 2:21; 4:17). No one attains power except that God planned it. Kings and presidents, legislators and judges, governors and mayors, councilmen and police chiefs, generals and sergeants, all who have governing power are those whom God has chosen for those positions. Even when they apply their power for corruption, they are powerless to thwart the plan of God. From the perspective of “He who sits above the circle of the earth,…its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,” insignificant and impotent.
He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
Powerful as national rulers seem to we who receive the consequences of their decisions, they barely make it into power before He merely blows on them and they are gone. Their decisions do not last (Isa. 40:22-24). Remembering this is one benefit of reading history. Where are all the rulers of every past empire, nation, region, state, city, or village? The present looms so large when in reality it is only a blip on the timeline of His-story.
God is good.
For years, Joseph suffered injustice and cruelty at the hands of those more powerful than he–his older brothers, slave traders, slave masters, prison guards. Yet he told his brothers, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). He knew that not one cruel authority had power over him but that God had ordained it, and that God had a good purpose for it all. “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). “All things” includes evil. Being absolutely good, the Lord uses evil for His good purpose (explained in v. 29).
What difference do these truths make in the midst of cultural decay and chaos?
- Remember that God is trustworthy. No matter the perception, the world is not out of God’s control. He rules over all and is worthy of trust–and that is a major understatement.
- Do not trust in men, laws, or ourselves, such as in political action. Not only do men sin and let us down, they are here today, gone tomorrow. Worse, trust in people is an affront to God.
- Trust God and obey His Word.
- Pray. Petition He who has the power. Trust in His good will.
- Do not worry. Besides the fact that it’s a sin, it’s also needless. The Word of God tells us that while men are weak and temporal, God is sovereign and eternal. In all present circumstances, God is working all things according to His plan for His glory. If it brings Him glory, then it must also bring good to those who love Him. As it does, those who love Him will have further cause to rejoice and delight in His glory.