Quite often it is true that men take pride in the very things that should remind them of their shame. (see Rom 1:32) This is nowhere seen more clearly than as some glory in earthly governments, confusing and mistaking patriotism for Godliness. The necessity of earthly governments only arises due to the depravity of the natural man. If men were not sinners there would be no need for such institutions. “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers” (1Tim 1:9)
Yet due to this innate corruption, which is bound in the nature of men, the world would soon devolve into chaos and destruction had not the LORD set these laws and powers in place for the purpose of establishing order. “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.--- For he is the minister of God to thee for good. ---- for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Rom 13:3-4)
. But we see corruption even in these governments as they are ruled by the same sort of men that they have been ordained to control. Their pride is seen as each nation upon the earth is vying for a position of power and honor among the other nations. This desire mirrors the desires of the individuals that make up those nations as each one seeks his own benefit. While there is often a pecking order among nations, the leaders of each one are jockeying for a higher position in that pecking order. This is simply the way of men and we are not surprised as we see this dance of ascendancy occurring day by day. The stronger nations believe that they have achieved this place of strength by their own power, will, and wisdom, even as most men think they have attained success by their own efforts and ability, while looking down their noses at those who have not reached their level of achievement or amount of personal effort.
The scripture is clear that nations rise and fall according to the Sovereign Pleasure of an Almighty and Unchangeable GOD. “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?.” (Dan 4:35) While this or that nation preens themselves while touting their own superiority, the LORD has no regard to any of them except insofar as HE has ordained each one to fulfill the exact purpose for which HE has raised them up.
Each nation’s leaders plot their strategies and invent and implement this program and that, certain that they shall be the ones to determine the course of that people who are under their leadership. Little do they know that they are mere pawns in the hands of HIM who does all things according to the good pleasure of HIS will “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” (Pro 21:1) How glorious is the ONE who sitteth in the Heavens and has those in contempt, who will not give HIM all glory and who think they shall determine their course. “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” (Psa 2:4)
Some nations even boast of their “godliness”, glorying in their “heritage”, and declaring that they are on GOD’s side or vice versa. No nation is of any consequence before HIM who forms the light and creates the darkness. “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.” (Isa 40:15-17)
How foolish is it then for men to glory in any government but that which is of, through, and by JESUS CHRIST? HE alone is the KING of HIS “holy nation” and HE will not share that glory with another. “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psa 2:10-12)
The LORD has used the panorama of history to display HIS sovereign prerogative to do with HIS own as HE pleases. In this display HE has raised up countless nations in order to use them to fulfill HIS purpose and ultimately bring glory to HIS name both in their ascendancy to power and in their destruction by HIS own HAND as it hath pleased HIM. This was revealed to Daniel, “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.” (Dan 2:20-22)
Egypt at one time was the greatest nation upon the earth. The LORD describes Egypt’s greatness in comparison to the other nations upon the earth at the time, by likening her to “a young lion” and a “whale of the seas”. HE sets forth the fact that HE raised Egypt up to this place of prominence, yet she did not honor and exalt HIS name, being unthankful, as she worshipped the host of heaven rather than HE who gave her power and dominion for a season. Thus HE pictures her as a “beached whale” which is left for the fowls of the air to devour.
All things in this world are temporary, corruptible, and passing away. The power of sustenance for all things resides in HIM who has LIFE in HIMSELF and who needs nothing and no one. HE is pleased to manifest HIS purpose by the destruction of all things which are not without spot or blemish. HE used Egypt to feed the house of Jacob, and then used them to enslave Jacob. Yet HIS purpose in the rise of Egypt at the time of Moses is clearly set forth by Paul. “Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” (Rom 9:17) Thus HE raised up Pharaoh ( and Egypt) to power that HE might destroy him as HE would demonstrate the deliverance of HIS people out of bondage by the same hand, giving them the land of promise.
Even though HE destroyed Egypt during the days of Moses, HE raised them back up and they ruled in power until HE was pleased to bring Nebuchadnezzar on the scene, raising up the Babylonians to power in order that they might be the “sword” in the hand of the LORD to destroy Egypt and other nations as seemed good in HIS sight. After a season when HE was done with the Babylonians, HE raised up Cyrus the Persian to conquer them.
All nations are subject to HIS purpose for them and their reign upon the earth is temporary in all cases. This is so that HE might magnify the glory of HIS grace in the establishment of the Kingdom of CHRIST, which shall never pass away. For CHRIST has subdued all of HIS enemies and shall forever reign as the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords. HE inhabits no corruptible throne which could ever be discovered in this world by carnal men, but rather sits upon the eternal throne of HIS everlasting kingdom. “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” (Psa 103:19) Just as HE made this present world to be inhabited (see Isa 45:18), by natural men, in like fashion has HE made the KINGDOM of CHRIST to be inhabited by those HE has loved from the beginning. “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (Mat 25:34) In which kingdom do you desire to dwell?mam