Study of powerful leaders throughout history has always fascinated me. The fact that such study intrigues others, too, is demonstrated, I think, by the obsession with Adolf Hitler my cable TV system seems to harbor. It’s all Hitler, all the time–or so it seems.
I can’t seem to pull myself away from the presentations, despite the fact that I have “viewed” these same documentaries multitudinous times–and me totally blind since 1993! Perhaps that is one reason they still fascinate. Most of the documentary film of the rise of Hitler and his diabolical regime, up to and including World War II, replays in my mind’s eye almost like I was physically seeing it all again.
So, you see, I’ve been “fascinated” with this most terrible tyrant, literally, for numerous decades.
However, it isn’t just the grisly history of der Führer that piques my interest. It is leadership throughout history, from the times of Nimrod and the building of the Tower of Babel, to Nebuchadnezzar, to Alexander the Great, to Julius Caesar and all of the beastly Roman emperors, to the more modern era of Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Tojo, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Nasser, Hafez al-Assad, Saddam Hussein, Khomeini, Vladimir Putin, et al, that draw my interest.
My fascination is not with the horrors of war. These are heart wrenching and not in any way intellectually stimulating or edifying–at least not for me. The intrigue that enthralls comes from the fact that these human beings are allowed power over the people. This power is given to them by the people themselves, through acquiescence.
But, it is the fact that the Lord of Heaven allows that they attain such power that continues to truly spellbind me, I think.
Allowing the millions upon millions of people enslaved and murdered by these seem incomprehensible to reconcile with the great character of the one and only God I know and love through the Lord Jesus Christ–His Son—who made my own soul’s reconciliation possible. The question that most of us who name the name of Christ have when considering the evil of this world is: Why does God allow such to take place?
How can the Lord of Heaven seemingly sit by and watch while these atrocities–this genocide—take place throughout the eons of history? We sometimes forget when thinking on such things that our God has provided leaders of the sort that are people after His own heart, as the Bible puts it. David comes to mind, as do some of the “good” kings of Israel and Judah during the alternating times of good versus bad kings throughout certain periods of the history of those Northern and Southern kingdoms of the Jewish people.
Other great leaders of the world’s nations, who were not necessarily people after God’s own heart, have ruled the people under their authority with benevolence. Such societies and cultures have thrived, most often, under such rulers.
Certainly, in these modern days when nuclear weapons could end civilization with the press of a few buttons, God’s staying hand on the leadership of the nations of planet earth is all the more important to recognize. To place the blame on the Almighty is to place blame wrongly. He has kept us from destroying ourselves, despite our best efforts to do so, restraining evil that comes from our own sin-blackened hearts.
There is coming a time, and I believe very soon, when that restraining influence will remove–according to 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2. We can see indications that our collective rebellion has already caused the Lord to somewhat take his Mighty Hand of restraint off this world. We can see it through the more than obvious confused thinking that this end-times era has wrought among the leaderships of the nations on a global basis.
In my view, our own nation demonstrably manifests this restraint being removed. There are many instances of the apparent reprobate (upside-down) thinking I could mention. I will mention only the fact–to reiterate for the hundredth time—the former US president and his secretary of state moving heaven and earth to placate the blood-vowed enemies of America and Israel whom they call the “Great Satan” and the “Little Satan.” At the same time, the Obama Administration moved ever farther away from Israel, our staunchest and most trustworthy ally on the planet.
Sin-insanity has infected the highest echelons of US and other earthly governments. Leaders can’t seem to find their way to their cocktail parties, much less to the table of common sense, while they interact diplomatically in these strange times, which are almost certainly near the very end of the age. So, why has the Lord allowed such leaders in such high places–those who are showing themselves in most cases to be the very minions of Satan? I believe that at least part of the answer resides within what God has told us as follows:
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, 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. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Romans 9:17-24)
Modern history has clothed evil in many costumes, from the violent butchery of Hitler, Stalin and Mao to the sinister, underhanded treachery of Barack Obama. But in the end each of these served the same master, Satan.
I think also that perhaps God has to let evil ultimately run its course, sink to its absolute depths, so to speak – because then He will be able to absolutely show that He is Lord of all, that Jesus’ death and resurrection is able to cover/fix absolutely everything…that is, for those willing to to avail themselves of it. God will be totally vindicated (as if He needs vindicating). No-one will be able to say, well, perhaps we could have fixed all this ourselves, it could have turned out all right in the end, if God had just left us to it and we had become totally ‘civilised ‘ people.
Haven’t explained what I mean very well – but basically, I think that God is not going to leave a job half-done, so to speak. He has to show that the devil and all his works and all evil can and will be overcome and defeated (by the power of God)
It is the timeless question which people have no doubt asked for thousands of years especially among those who believe in the one true God – why does he let bad things happen?
Here’s my take on it.
God gave us free will. Exactly why, I can only speculate, but it may be because he wanted people to be able to freely make a choice to follow him or not. The ability to decide makes it a real choice, freely made. It makes it genuine. Of course, God could have programmed us to follow him. I suppose it would have made the history of humankind a whole lot less grim.
Giving us free will implies something else – God voluntarily limiting his power when it comes to the kind of world we chose to have. Since he is all-powerful, he could have slapped us around plenty of times. If one reads the Bible, it is clear there were many times times that he did just that, right from the Fall – when our original parents sublet our universe to Satan whose only goal is to destroy everything that God has made.
The best example of God’s restraint appeared 2000 years ago when he became man, subject to all the limitations of human existence, save for our ability to sin. Jesus went through the pain of a normal childbirth, experienced the heat of summer’s day, the cold of a winter’s night, and finally the pain of the Roman flagrum and the nails that held him to the cross right up into death.
In his last hours, he said that he could have had his Father send legions of angels to save him – but he did not, even knowing the agony that would follow in mere hours.
The most revealing aspect of God’s mercy, I believe, is that he did it to get us off the hook for the consequences that we deserve for the misuse of the gift of free-will he’d blessed us with in the beginning.
The offer is still there and sadly still rejected by most of the human race.
But this restraint is not limitless and there will come one day when this largess will end. There will arise a world dictator who by his very mark will economically, physically, and mentally enslave most of those who are alive in the End Times.
At the end of this terrible time, the worst in human history, all who have rejected God across the ages will experience that final day when the debt becomes due and payable.
There is still the opportunity to make that choice, whether God is to be our Savior . . . or Judge.
But the time is fleeting!