ONE OF THE OFT-QUOTED texts about politics is in Proverbs. “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he wills” (Proverbs 21:1). The problem with this verse is that it is true, and it applies to all leaders—kings, presidents, mayors, governors, senators, and members of congress. God’s sovereignty is awesome. He is in control of who gets elected and what they do afterwards.

This raises two important questions. First, if God is in control, why would he allow bad rulers? Think Hitler, Stalin, or even Biden or Trump. (Obviously Trump would be better than Biden, but neither is ideal, and in neither case will we get the outstanding leader we need to heal our divisions). There are several reasons. God might put a bad leader in place to discipline the church. He might elevate a bad leader to judge a sinful people. Or, he might work through a bad leader to direct history towards and end that we cannot forsee, but that ultimately enhances his glory and the happiness of his church.

But there is a second question. What about the leaders personal responsibility? How can God be sovereign and he not be a robot? Well, he is not a robot. He is responsible for his decisions and the actions he takes, and God will hold him accountable on The Day of Final Judgment. How is this possible? How can God be totally sovereign and yet leaders make real meaningful, moral decisions? We don’t know. We leave this to the omniscient, omnipotent, and sovereign God for whom this is no problem.

It is on the basis of Proverbs 21:1, and similar Old Testament texts, that Paul wrote Romans thirteen.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

Romans 13:1-2

Brothers and sisters: this means we need to honor those to whom honor is due and respect those in power. It means we need to see our current president for who he is—an instrument of God, sent to further God’s sovereign purposes. I know this is difficult. Biden is an evil man. He is arrogant, deceitful, and utterly corrupted by selfish ambition. But, the fact is, God put him in place, and his “heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord.”

Speaking of arrogance: a second Proverb provides us with God’s perspective on this sin.

“Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”

Proverbs 16:5

Pride is in competition with God. Therefore, God hates it. Its symptoms are right on the surface. The proud are convinced that they know how to make others happy better than others do. This is how a controlling, overwheening government thinks. Arrogantly!

A second symptom is the conviction that people are perfectible and that only the elite can perfect them. This is the assumption of the many social engineers that proliferate in the deep State.

A third symptom is the conviction that my ambitions, motives, and goal are so much purer than others that I should be entitled to tell them how to run their life. You might even of them as a “basket of deplorables.”

Tragically, the arrogant are completely unaware of their arrogance. In fact, their lack of self-awareness is astounding. That is because pride thinks so highly of itself that it is blind to its sins and failings.

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

Proverbs 21:2

The proud will accuse another of being a great threat to democracy, even while they are in fact the greatest threat, but can’t see it. They will call you a “racist” even as they practice reverse racism, but are unaware of it. The examples are endless.

What is the take-away? First, thank God every day for our leaders no matter how bad. They are God’s servants, unknowingly bringing his purposes to pass.

Second, pray for our leaders. When Nero was emperor, Paul exhorted the church to pray for him.

I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

1 Timothy 2:1-2

Third, strive to implement righteous government. For Americans this means voting. It means being informed about our current political context. Tragically, many Christians are negligent here, and we should not be. A democratic republic relies upon educated, knowledgeable voters.

Fourth, trust God. He is ultimately behind the wheel, and he is directing the vehicle towards the good of his church and the enhancement of his glory.

Fifth, evangelize your neighbors. Pray for revival. Politics change from the bottom up. A political system friendly to Christianity is not imposed from the top down. A Christian civil government is increasingly desired by its citizens as they change their neighbors one heart at a time. We can’t accomplish this job without God’s power. So pray, evangelize, and meanwhile, “overflow with thanksgiving.”