READ: Psalm 72, Daniel 4-6, Luke 1, 1 Corinthians 8
Democracy is a fallen, limited system. In the scope of eternity, democracy is a short blip on the radar, sandwiched with other fallen human constructs and bookended by the theocratic kingdom of God. Daniel knew this well and reminds us that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whom He will, and sets over it the lowest of men” (Dan. 4:17). In the days to come democratic systems of government will wane on earth, giving way to their internal corruption, and before Jesus comes we are going to see various forms of totalitarian systems emerge and dominate. God is going to wean us from our reliance on democracy. This is too painful for us, unless we run to the sanctuary of God and understand that God controls both evil and righteous systems of rule (Psalm 73:16-17). The following are Heaven’s rules of governance:
Leaders are appointed and dismissed by God. It may seem on the outside that elections and coups are the work of humanity, and surely humanity plays a part. But the Bible is clear that God appoints both good and bad leaders for His own purposes. When we struggle under our leadership, we are thus equipped with a double comfort: God appointed this leader (thus, we must be respectful) and God can remove this leader (thus, we can submit in hope). When God’s purposes are accomplished poor leaders are removed by the same God who established them.
We get the leaders we deserve. This unheralded principle of leadership holds true for countries as well as churches and mission teams. Followers tend to complain and compare their leadership to others, failing to see that honest people elect or are granted honest leaders, and vice versa. Leaders almost invariably represent the culture and context from which they emerge. All we who follow must first examine ourselves when we are unhappy with those who lead us. Men and women of integrity are always ultimately rewarded by faithful and capable leaders. One of God’s miracles is to reward good followers by shaping raw leaders into men and women who represent Him well to those they serve.
God tends to select the lowliest to lead. The world selects their leaders according to perceived competence. God selects His representatives by character. God delights to seek out the humblest and lowest and by their elevation glorify Himself. A little unknown teenage girl said it best: “He has scattered the proud in the imaginations of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly . . . For He who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is His name” (Luke 1:49-52). We stand with Mary and magnify the Lord, rejoicing in God our Savior. He has done all things well, including the surprising people that He sets over us to lead.