Does God involve Himself in the political affairs of humankind? Today, in part 3 of “God and the Nations” we seek an answer to this question from scripture and what we find there is at once a profound mystery and an enduring comfort.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” Thanks so much for joining us today as we continue our discussion of “God and the Nations.” Today we want to answer a question: Did we elect the president of the United States or did God? Twenty years or so ago, many years ago, on Christian radio, somebody called in and asked that question, and the person in charge, said, “God had nothing to do with it. We elected our president.” Well, I wonder whether or not this Christian has ever read his Bible. You know, the Bible says in Daniel 4:17 the most high rules among the kingdoms of men and gives it to whomever He wills. And then I like what the King James says—“and puts over them the basest of men.” Now modern translations say “the most lowly of men” and perhaps that translation is true. But the point is that sometimes there are people put over nations who are completely and totally evil, and of course, Psalm 75:6-7—memorized that many years ago when I was in college, “promotion comes neither from the east nor from the west, nor from the south, but God is Judge. He sets up one and brings down another.” I love what Jesus said to Pilate. I’ve often meditated on it, “You would have no power against Me at all, were it not given to you from above.”
Wow, you say, “well, Pastor Lutzer does that include Hitler? Does it include Stalin and other rulers that have ruled very much in favor of their evils?” I don’t want to shock you, but I’m going to say yes, but I have to clarify something. There’s a difference between the revealed will of God (and they certainly were not living up to the revealed will of God), but if you have the faith to believe it, there are hidden purposes that God has in mind, that even these evil rulers fit into the divine plan. Now that may come as a surprise and under different conditions, I might expound on that a little bit more, but the reason that I mention this is I want you to see God in the midst of our political situation. You say, “well, then who did elect the president of the United States? Did we or God? The answer is that there is a confluence. I love that word. There’s a confluence between the human will and the divine plan. As a matter of fact, we’re going to see this next time as I talk about how to relate to even an evil government.
The fact is that God is the one who rules, ultimately, and is actively involved in the affairs of men, but at the same time in America, at least we play that part by voting and whoever we vote gets in, but the point is simply this: I want to leave here today encouraging you. No matter how discouraged we might be because of what is happening politically. Perhaps your favorite candidate did not get elected and we see trends in this society which are ever downward, not upward. We are brought here by God for this moment and I encourage you today to see God in the midst of it. He does not do evil, but He brings together His will and His purposes and the human will and they converge and the Bible says that He rules all things, according to the council of His own will. We are where we are today by Divine Providence. If you say well, how should we relate to a government that is turning against us? Well, you tune in next time, but as for today, be encouraged and you go with God.