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Don Stewart :: How Does God's Dealings with Nations Demonstrate His Existence?

Don Stewart

The Bible says that God is behind the rise and fall of nations. It is He who guides the course of nations and their history. His working with the nations demonstrates that He does exist. The Bible gives the following testimony.

God Sets Up Nations As He Desires

God is the one who sets up nations. Moses wrote.

When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all humankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:8).

God alone is the one who controls the nations.

He Is The Judge Of The Nations

God is the One who ultimately judges the nations. The psalmist wrote.

But it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another (Psalm 75:7).

God Is Lord Over All

Daniel told the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar that the God of the Bible is Lord over all.

You shall be driven away from human society, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you have learned that the Most High has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals and gives it to whom he will (Daniel 4:32).

Daniel stressed the fact that God will give the kingdom to whomever He wills. He can withdraw kings as well as raise them up.

He Sets The Boundaries Of The Nations

It is God who sets the various boundaries of the kingdoms of the world.

From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live (Acts 17:26).

God's Control Is Over Everything

All authority is ultimately under the control of God. Paul wrote.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God (Romans 13:1).

The Bible Gives Illustrations Of God's Involvement In Human History

The Bible gives illustrations where God has been involved in human history.

Egypt

The Bible says that God's dealings can be seen in His workings with Egypt. Paul wrote.

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth" (Romans 9:17).

Babylon

Babylon, the nation that God used to judge Israel, would find themselves judged by God. This would happen through the Medo-Persian Empire - particularly by King Cyrus. God said of Cyrus.

Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes, to open doors before him - and the gates shall not be closed: I will go before you and level the mountains, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me (Isaiah 45:1-5).

The Medo-Persian Empire was God's instrument to overthrow Babylon. See also the following chapters (Daniel 1-5, Jeremiah 50-51, and Isaiah 47-48).

Medo-Persia

The Medo-Persian Empire, which followed the Babylonian, was also a target of God's judgment (Isaiah 44:24-45:1-7; Daniel 2, 7). He is the One who allowed them to rise and He is the One who caused them to fall. Their destiny was completely in His hand.

Greece

After the Babylonian Empire, and the Medo-Persian Empire, came Greece. Greece rose and fell according to God's time frame (Daniel 8:1-25; 11:1-35). Again, He was the one in control of their destiny.

Rome

The Roman Empire, according to Scripture, would rise up after these three previous world empires (Daniel 7:7,23, 9:24-27). This happened exactly as the Bible predicted. Again the Lord was in total control.

Israel

The greatest testimony of God in history is found in the nation Israel. Their existence and survival is an example of the faithfulness of God. God chose one man, Abraham, and called him out from among the unbelieving nations to found a nation that would witness to the one, true, God. The Bible says

The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:1-3).

The history of the nation Israel contains one example after another of the providential hand of God. The fact that they have survived to this day is a continuous testimony to God's power and control.

More Information Is Still Necessary

It is obvious that there is a divine plan behind the workings of the nations. Yet history itself is inadequate to tell us who this God is, and what He wants from us. We cannot gain any personal knowledge about God by observing how He has dealt in history. More information about Him is needed.

Summary

History tells us that an all-powerful God has been working behind the scenes. The rise and fall of nations is at His desire. It is ultimately He who decides their fate. We discover this in the history of Egypt, Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, Rome, and especially Israel. Yet history cannot tell us any specifics about His character of how individuals can come to know Him. Something else is needed.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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