President Trump and God’s “Backward” Ways
We know from the Bible that Satan is considered “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NASB), meaning that he orchestrates the worldly, sinful order that dominates every culture on Earth. Then there is God’s divine order, which is not of this world and stands opposed to the work of Satan.
Naturally God’s order—the way of His kingdom—often goes against what worldly people consider the norm. But it also often doesn’t make sense to “religious” people, or those in political leadership who we often think have all the answers. We can see this throughout the Bible. Let’s start with Elijah. He was a prophet of God, but he wasn’t at all “religious.”
So who was this Elijah anyway? When he showed up in the palace of Israel’s king, Ahab, and his wife, Jezebel, in 1 Kings 17, the Bible hadn’t even mentioned him before, so he wasn’t exactly among the well-known prophets of his day. But Elijah approached King Ahab and prophesied of an upcoming drought that would stand in opposition to all the efforts of Israel’s religious and political systems, including meeting the basic needs of the people. Not to mention, this “nobody” prophet Elijah was basically declaring war against God’s own chosen people.
So this stranger from the mountains showed up in Ahab’s palace and more or less did everything backward according to Israel’s religious and political methods—which were totally in keeping with Satan’s worldly order. Elijah had no education and no previous exposure to the leaders of Israel that we know of, yet King Ahab for some reason spared Elijah’s life that day, even though he had prophesied a drought for the entire nation—and we find out in 1 Kings 18:18 that this judgment was God’s wrath being poured out on Israel because of the wicked deeds of the king and his forefathers. But Elijah came as a messenger from God, not caring at all about the ways of the world that Ahab and his ilk followed. The story of Elijah ultimately ended with the downfall of one of the most evil religious and political systems in recorded history.
Let’s fast-forward to the days of John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus. Once he’d grown up, John went out to live in the desert (Luke 2:80), where he wore camel’s skin and ate locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4). Simply put, he would have been considered a wilderness weirdo! When he came on the scene, John had not had any previous exposure to the religious and political rulers of Roman-ruled Israel, and he himself was no leader among God’s people. Yet God handpicked John as the prophet to prepare His people for the coming of Jesus the Messiah. Notice that God did NOT choose any of the religious and political elites who, in the eyes of the people, would have been perfectly qualified for such a task.
In fact Jesus later warned His disciples about the religious and political leaders of Israel, telling His followers to watch out for these self-righteous and dangerous men—and even going so far as to say that “Such men will be punished most severely” (Luke 20:46 NIV).
In light of the lives of both Elijah and John the Baptist, I would rather see Donald Trump in the White House than any self-righteous religious or political elite. We know from 1 Samuel 16:7 that God pays little attention to what is seen, and the “seen” is exactly what President Trump’s opposition and even well-known religious figures have been quick to point out in regard to the sin observed in his life. But God instead focuses on what is unseen—each person’s heart—which opens wide the door to whatever God may want to do in an individual’s heart for His ultimate purpose, even to go so deep as to accomplish this by His divine grace exclusively. As it says in Matthew 4:45 (NIV): “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” This single verse alone eliminates any doubt as to whether or not God can use President Trump despite his own sinfulness and shortcomings. He can use him just as he can use any of us!
But it all does seem quite backward, doesn’t it? Let’s go back to the New Testament. The religious teachers in the days of Jesus thought Immanuel (“God with Us”—as in, the Messiah) would come down from heaven, overthrow the Roman Empire, and then rule Israel from a conquering king’s throne. The apostle John even recorded an event that shows this: “So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone” (John 6:15 NASB).
You see, the people of Israel had good intentions in wanting to make Jesus their king—much the same way that both Republicans and Democrats have good intentions for the country in representing their respective party. But in reading John 6:15, we don’t see the evil behind what the people wanted for Jesus, because their good intentions had nothing to do with God’s plan. Their evil was later exposed, as the crowds and religious leaders demanded that Jesus die. Why? Because of envy and jealously, and the fact that Jesus spoke out against them and wouldn’t do as they said or conform to their worldly ways.
This was a controlling and nasty evil spirit of religion and politics, which is alive and well today in church and the political system—the two often work together, after all. No wonder it’s important to leave religion and politics out of casual conversation! Hmmmm …
The biggest problem for the religious leaders of Israel, to their own disgrace, was that those esteemed teachers of the Law of God did not even recognize that Jesus was Immanuel! They just went on teaching and preaching the impending arrival of the Jewish Messiah, waiting for their personal Savior to appear according to the words of their prophets. And all along, He was walking among them! Then these self-righteous hypocrites then called for Immanuel to be crucified. That is so backward—and yet totally according to the plan of God!
Let’s look at some more examples of this backward kingdom of God’s:
- The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:27 that God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. Huh? That’s definitely backward!
- Jesus said in Matthew 21:16 that God received praise from the lips of infants and nursing babies—not exactly something that agrees with the natural order of the world and the basic principles of language and intelligence.
- Jesus also said that if the Jews would not praise Him, then the rocks would cry out instead (Luke 19:40).
- In Numbers 22:21-39, God used a donkey to communicate His word at one point. (Do you see that there is hope for Donald Trump? Ha-ha-ha!)
- The apostle Paul considered himself the chief of all sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and he had at one time been a bloodthirsty hunter of followers of Jesus, yet he ended up being a powerful man of God, writing 13 books of the New Testament. So Christianity’s greatest enemy became its greatest defender. Now that’s backward!
- I encourage you to look up some of the other backward principles of God’s kingdom: the first will be the last, the least will be the greatest, the meek will be the powerful, the ones who give away everything will have the most, etc.
Is there hope that God can use Donald Trump? I would say so! Better than that, if we truly believe the Bible, then we can study it deeper and discover that God quite often used wicked people to carry out His purposes. No, I’m not labeling President Trump as “evil” or wicked.” But according to the Word of God, we are ALL wicked and sinful people (Romans 3:23), so the argument that Donald Trump is not a righteous man and thus can’t be used of God is no argument at all in light of God’s character and what He might intend to do in and through our president.
I believe that the biblical principles inscribed upon the hearts of our nation’s Founding Fathers are being inscribed upon the hearts of our leaders today by God’s divine grace in a way we have not witnessed since first few decades of this country’s history. I further believe that the hearts of our leaders have become a reflection of the hearts of everyday Americans by the grace of God and by His commitment to the faith of the men and women who proclaimed the greatness of our God and the hopes for this great country at its beginning.
If the US is restored to a nation that fears and honors God, then it will happen because we ordinary Americans humble ourselves and quit acting as if each of us has the destiny of this country summed up perfectly by our religious and political views. Only through this kind of humility can Republicans and Democrats and all the rest be united so that we as a nation can reap the benefits from God’s promises for His people.
As I continue to search through the Bible, I find more and more that God so often does things in ways that seem backward to us and in opposition to the methods, suspicions, and predictions of the institutions of this world. So do not be surprised when we the people find that through our own humility, the hearts of our leaders will truly become a reflection of our own hearts, just as our Constitution demands. We the people are the true leaders of this country, and if we want the God of the Bible to deal with our enemies according to His divine will that has been predestined since the beginning of time, then it will ONLY be through our humility that we truly prove His grace in sufficient for ALL of us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Never forget: “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NASB). If we remain divided, it will only be due to our pride, and if that happens, we will continue to declare that we ourselves are God in our own eyes and in no need of His grace, and thus we will keep opposing the one true God. Pride was the first sin of humanity—when Adam and Eve presumed that they knew better than God and willingly decided to oppose Him and His ways. Yet if we choose to humble ourselves, we will find Him to be the God of limitless power that He promises to be for those who follow Him wholeheartedly, and He will deliver this country from the hand of every enemy.
So join me in praying—not only that we as a nation would support the president because he is our leader and because God can use anyone He chooses to accomplish His will, but also that we would humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God so that He would pour out His grace upon us!
Scripture quotations marked (NASB) are taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™