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January 29, 2018

how God can use any prominent political leader

Most Christians had in the past avoided pursuing political-governmental positions. Some have woken up in recent years and see that this avoidance is increasingly costly… Today we look at Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, c. 605 BC – c. 562 BC, the longest and most powerful reign of any monarch in the Neo-Babylonian empire. He defeated the Egyptians and their allies the Assyrians, subdued Palestine and Syria and, consolidating his power, controlled all trade routes across Mesopotamia from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. He was thus famous for empire expanding military conquests, building great walls, commerce and economic wealth. God actually described him as His servant. When we read his letter (Daniel chapter 4), we realize how God can use any prominent political leader even this presumably ‘hateful and feared’ (to many foreign people under his rule) pagan king to testify God’s reality, greatness and purpose!
Because of his boast of his own might and honor, Nebuchadnezzar went through seven years of forced retreat as prophesied in a strange dream (Daniel 4).  After the seven years, he acknowledged and repented his pride, and gave God honor and praise! He was then restored to kingship. It is plausible that he was completely converted and died a faithful follower of God as he continued to let Daniel remain an influential divine counselor in his government. The Old Testament Bible recorded several important Jewish men and a woman who held high/strategic political/socially influential positions in countries under pagan kings: Joseph, Moses, Queen Esther, Mordecai, Daniel, his three Jewish friends, Nehemiah, and Ezra the scribe. These individuals had played crucial roles in shaping the history of the people of God. Their strategic courageous and positive influences had saved many innocent lives including those who believed in our God and refused to bow down to pagan gods/idols.
Most Christians had in the past avoided pursuing political-governmental positions. Some have woken up in recent years and see that this avoidance is increasingly costly in terms of the erosion of freedom to continue to worship our God and bring up our own children in the godly principles and lifestyle we believe and value.  The worst is that the erosion of power and influence is in the unseen spiritual realm. When Christians lose ground in the physical it means they lose ground in the spiritual realm. The physical manifestation on earth in terms of governments and policies actually reflects the spiritual conditions in the unseen world. It is now the Kairos time for each individual to make the right decision with the opportunity and authority in hand.  (Read and meditate on Matthew 25:14-30 The parable of stewardship of the talent/resources the Lord has given to each individual).
(All Bible verses are quoted from New King James Version)
Jeremiah 27:4-7 God appoints a pagan king to be His servant.
4 And command them to say to their masters, … 6 And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him. 7 So all nations shall serve him and his son and his son’s son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them.
Daniel 4
Nebuchadnezzar the king, To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.
I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.
3 How great are His signs,
And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. 5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, …6 Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men …8 But at last Daniel came before me …

18 “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”
Daniel Explains the Second Dream
19 Then Daniel, …“My lord, may the dream concern those who hate you, and its interpretation concern your enemies!
20 “The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong,…— 22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.
23 “And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, …till seven times pass over him’; 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25 They shall drive you from men, …and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.
26 “And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.”
Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation
28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar… 30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”
31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, …and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”
33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men …
34 And at the end of the time[b] I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:…36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. ..and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.
Footnotes:
Daniel 4:16 Possibly seven years, and so in verses 23, 25, and 32
Daniel 4:34 Literally days

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