God’s dealings with king Nebuchadnezzar when he reigned over ancient Babylon reveal some profound demands that God makes over all governmental leaders of every nation, including American presidents. These demands profoundly refute a grave error that American presidents must not make in their thinking.
The Divine Demand for Social Justice
Daniel poignantly appealed to king Nebuchadnezzar to turn from his sinfulness, including his failures to deal properly with the poor in his kingdom:
Dan 4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
Although he was the king over the most powerful empire in the world in his day, Nebuchadnezzar needed to learn that his position of power did not mean that he could do whatever he wanted to poor people—he had to show mercy to them!
Similarly, American presidents must learn from God’s dealings with Nebuchadnezzar that they must show mercy to the poor. Every American president must make addressing social justice issues in his country a top priority, especially in doing what he can to show mercy to the poor.
The Divine Demand for Humility
When king Nebuchadnezzar became proud in his heart in thinking that the greatness of his city that he had built for his kingdom was the result of his exerting the might of his own power and that he had done so for the sake of glorifying his own majesty (Dan. 4:30), God abased him profoundly (Dan. 4:31-33). After God had humbled him and then restored him, he openly testified that God is able to abase those who walk in pride (Dan. 4:37).
Every president of the US needs to learn from what God did to abase Nebuchadnezzar that any greatness that he enjoys in his presidency is ultimately not because of his own resourcefulness and abilities to conduct an effective campaign and run the country well. Instead, as president, he has been put in that position of immense power by God and allowed to prosper in it so that he would humbly glorify God and govern in His fear.
The Divine Demand for Declaring the Truth about Who Reigns Over All
Nebuchadnezzar was the king of an idolatrous empire that had exalted itself greatly against the God of heaven (cf. Dan. 3). God revealed to him His demand that he had to recognize that God is the One Who reigns over all and exalts whomever He wishes to whatever positions of authority they have (Dan. 4:25).
By dealing with Nebuchadnezzar openly in a profound humiliating manner, God brought him to testify the truth about God as the One who reigns over all (Dan. 4:34-35). Every American president needs to learn from Nebuchadnezzar that God wants him to acknowledge that God is the One who reigns over all and is the One who has exalted him to his position of top authority in our nation.
American presidents must not make the grave error of thinking that because they govern a secular country, they are free from any obligations toward God. In spite of their exalted position over the American people, the divine demands on them remain the same as they were on Nebuchadnezzar.
Every American president must learn from God’s dealings with king Nebuchadnezzar that he must govern in the fear of God by meetings God’s demands upon him.