The Bible, in Romans 13 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
These verses have been used (and abused) at various times in history to say that whatever leaders are in power, God put them there. Indeed, there is a good case to be made that the Lord God, the Blessed Controller of all things, does cause the rise and fall of kingdoms, nations and rulers.
We all agree, as Christians, that God knows the future. But what about Hitler becoming Chancellor of Germany in 1933? What about Joseph Stalin becoming Marshal in the Soviet Republic in 1943? What about Tiberius Caesar of Paul’s day in the First Century? Did God hand pick each of these men? Or did God merely allow these to come to power for whatever reason (e.g. as judgment and part of His overall design)?
Scholars and biblical experts disagree on this. Some think, for reasons we do not necessarily understand, that God does pick all leaders, including bad ones. Others think these verses mean that God does pick what offices (King, President, etc.) there are and knows who will gain power.
Whatever the case, as Christians, we do know and agree on:
- We desire leaders with wisdom (Prov. 29:2);
- Ultimately we answer to a higher authority in God, than any human authority (like Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Corrie Ten Boom);
- It is a blessing that the ordinary person has a say in choosing our government in America; and
- We should pray about our vote, and we should pray for all those in power (1 Tim. 2:2).
After this Super Tuesday, we will have a much clearer picture of who the Democrats and Republicans want to be the next President. Let’s pray the same person they want is the same person God wants, and let’s pray the Lord gives us who we need and not who we deserve.