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To find a place of sanity in this election, we are going to peer back to the time when God’s people were held captive in the country of Babylon. Thousands of years ago, the mighty ruler of this nation, King Nebuchadnezzar, had a troubling dream. One of the things he was told in the dream was, “Let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him. The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men” (Daniel 4:16–17).1 The king didn’t understand the dream however, so the prophet Daniel was called to interpret. Daniel, confirming “the decree of the watchers,” warned, “You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will” (Daniel 4:25b).

The last part of that sentence tells us what Nebuchadnezzar’s problem was. He did not know that his rulership was made possible for only one reason: The Lord God Most High willed it so. The king had to learn this lesson the hard way, and what the Lord prophesied through Daniel happened. The king spent a considerable length of time in the boonies and out of his ever-lovin’ mind. However, the strange time in la-la land was effectual. Nebuchadnezzar came understand that God Almighty is sovereign over all things:

“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:34–35).

Some lessons are hard to learn.

Although I’m no king, it is God’s sovereignty that I, too, have struggled with in this election season. But it has helped me greatly to understand that as was true for ancient Babylon is also true for the United States. This country, although it is a democratic republic, is not outside the domain of God’s sovereignty. The Lord has sets in place our leaders “whom He will.”

Previously childless Hannah was given this knowledge as she prayed when she gave up her only son, Samuel, to the Lord:

“The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor” (1 Samuel 2:7–8a).

Out-of-wedlock Mary, Jesus’ mother, echoed this:

“He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty” (Luke 1:51–53).

And the psalmist Asaph:

“For not from the east or from the west, and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another” (Psalm 75:6–7).

Here is the glorious conclusion we in the United States can and must come to, based upon the eternal truth of God’s Word: It is the Lord God Most High who will put in place the next president. Thus, this is my prayer for election day and the days that follow: “Father, in this election, cause me to rejoice in Your sovereign choice.”

1All Scripture quotations are from Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy Bing images.

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