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Summary: God overrules all the plans of earthly rulers, be they righteous or wicked, for the accomplishment of his own wise and good designs.

The Heart of the King

"The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will." -- (Proverbs 21:1)

God overrules all the plans of earthly rulers, be they righteous or wicked, for the accomplishment of his own wise and good designs.

A good king’s heart is as pliable in the hands of God as the small irrigation channels are controlled by the gardener.

Seven examples of kings obeying God:

1. David (1 Samuel 13:14)

2. Solomon (1 Kings 3:9-12)

3. Ahasuerus (Esther 6; Neh. 2)

4. Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel 29:18; Daniel 4)

5. Cyrus (Ezra 1:1; Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1)

6. Darius (Ezra 6:22)

7. Augustus (Luke 2:1-7)

Think about that for a moment! God has reserved the right to override the will of a nation’s leader, if need be, to see that His people are governed according to His will.

What’s more, God will hear the prayer of any government leader. Even if he’s the worst reprobate in the whole world. He heard the prayer of old King Nebuchadnezzar. Believe me, that means He’ll listen to any leader!

You see, Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon. He was an ungodly ruler of an ungodly nation. However, he’d taken captives from the land of Judah. He had some of God’s people under his authority. So, God began to deal with him.

Again and again, God warned him, "Nebuchadnezzar, you’re going to lose your mind if you don’t straighten up." And, sure enough, he went just as crazy as could be.

He stayed that way for years too. Then one day he cried out to God and God heard him.

Despite his status as a heathen king of a heathen nation, God intervened repeatedly in Nebuchadnezzar’s life and heard him when he finally cried out for help. Why? Because he had God’s people under his rule!

That same principle still holds true today. If we’ll open the way through prayer, God will deal with our leaders!

If we will humble ourselves in unity and pray, God can change the injustice and corruption that exist in our country, or any country for that matter. He’ll change the hearts of everyone from the White House on down to make sure His children are governed justly.

Make it a point to pray for our leaders today!

SCRIPTURE READING: Daniel 4:1-37

Daniel 4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.

This chapter contains an edict of Nebuchadnezzar after his recovery from the calamity to which it refers.

[all the earth] All the earth under Nebuchadnezzar—not all the earth outside his kingdom, which included only the modern states of Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. The phrase "all the earth" must be understood in a limited sense, as explained of the limitations of the Antichrist’s kingdom.

Extent of Antichrist’s Reign

Fifteen proofs Antichrist will not reign over America or be a worldwide dictator:

1. Four statements in Rev. 13 have led some to believe that Antichrist will literally rule the whole world and cause every man on earth to take a mark or be killed. They are:

(1) Power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations (Rev. 13:7)

(2) All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (except Christians, Rev. 13:8)

(3) He causeth all, both small and great ... to receive a mark (Rev. 13:16)

(4) No man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, name, or number (Rev. 13:17)

On the surface it might seem that these statements prove Antichrist will be a world ruler, killing all on earth who do not take his mark, name, or number. But, the contrary is true because "all" in these passages is simply a figure of speech—synecdoche—in which a whole is put for a part, as we would say, "Everyone in town," or "the whole country." If the United States would make a law that "all men" of all nations, and tongues must register on a certain day or be killed, we would naturally understand the law to apply only to all people of all nations and tongues who are under the government of the United States, not to the people of these nations and tongues who are under other governments. The word "all" is used in a limited sense hundreds of times in Scriptures (Genesis 6:17; Joshua 6:21-25; 2 Samuel 6:5,15; 1 Kings 11:16-17; Matthew 3:5-6; Luke 2:1-3; Romans 1:8; Romans 10:18; Col. 1:23; etc.).

2. Such terms as in Rev. 13 have been used of other rulers and kingdoms who did not literally rule the whole world. It was said of Nebuchadnezzar—Wheresoever the children of men dwell ... hath made thee ruler over them ALL (Daniel 2:38). Of Greece—Which shall bear rule over ALL the earth (Daniel 2:39). Of Rome—Shall devour the WHOLE earth (Daniel 7:23-24). None of these kingdoms ruled the whole world.

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