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God Desires That All Nations Choose to Glorify Him


A Publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.


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Israel

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God Judges Nations

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Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017


The Bible, especially in the Old Testament, deals extensively with nations and shows that God ordained nations, that He is over every nation, but that He gives every nation a temporary choice of whether to submit itself to the sovereign God. The following verses, among many others, prove that God is over all nations and wishes each nation to choose to glorify Him:

“When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”[1]

Psm.113.4“Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are they which put their trust in him.”[2]

“The wicked shall be turned into hell and all nations that forget God.” [3]

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”[4]

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”[5]

“The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.”[6]

“Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”[7]

“A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.”[8]

“Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.”[9]

“Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.”[10]

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”[11]

“Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and art counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing…. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity…. It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.”[12]

“But thou [Jeremiah] shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.”[13]

At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”[14]

Paul speaking to those at Lystra who would have worshiped Paul and Barnabas because Paul healed the impotent man on his 1st missionary journey said: “And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”[15]

Paul said in his sermon on Mars’ hill: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; … And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”[16]

“Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords[.]”[17]

Obviously, civil governments still exist and still have responsibility under God to rule for Him, but He still gives every civil government a choice of whether to go by His or Satan’s principles. “[The civil magistrate] ought to cherish, as a foster-father, the Lord Jesus, in his truth, in his saints, to cleave unto them himself, and to countenance them even to the death, yea, also, to break the teeth of the lions, who offer civil violence and injury unto them.”[18]

Sadly, civil governments do not choose, at least for any significant period of time, to be “under God,” to guide their actions by His principles. Patrick Henry [who led the fight in Virginia against ratifying the Constitution, and was a great defender of the Baptists who were persecuted in Virginia even though he was in favor of a state-church] understood this:

“Where are your checks in this government. Your strongholds will be in the hands of your enemies.  It is on the supposition that your American governors shall be honest, that all the good qualities of this government are founded; but its defective and imperfect construction puts it in their power to perpetrate the worst of mischiefs, should they be bad men. And sir, would not all the world, from the eastern to the western hemispheres, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad? Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty.”[19]


[1] De. 32.8.

[2] Ps. 2.10-12. See Psalm 2 in its entirety.

[3] Ps. 9.17.

[4] Ps. 11.3.

[5] Ps. 100.1-3.

[6] Ps. 113.4.

[7] Pr. 14.34.

[8] Pr. 20.26.

[9] Pr. 20.28.

[10] Pr. 25.5.

[11] Pr. 29.2.

[12] Is. 40.15, 17, 22-24, 26.

[13] Je. 7.28. See the entirety of Je. 7.

[14] Je. 18.7-10.

[15] Ac. 14.15-17.

[16] Ac. 17.24, 26-31.

[17] 1 Ti. 6.15.

[18] Roger Williams and Edward Bean Underhill, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience Discussed and Mr. Cotton’s Letter Examined and Answered (London: Printed for the Society, by J. Haddon, Castle Street, Finsbury, 1848), p. 100.

[19] John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1987), p. 309, quoting Patrick Henry, Virginia Ratifying Debates; quoted by Tyler, Patrick Henry, p. 328.

(4) God Desires that Gentile Nations glorify Him


If you miss one part of the puzzle that is being put together in these studies, you will never see and understand the whole picture.


A publication of Churches Under Christ Ministry


Previous Lesson:
(3) Civil Government Failure and God’s Judgment of Nations

Next Series of Lessons:
Israel

Click here to go to all lessons on Civil Government.

Click here to go to links to all written lessons.

Click here to go to the 5 to 8 minute video lectures.


Jerald Finney
Copyright © December 28, 2017


God has also given to the Gentile civil governments freedom of choice. Many scriptures illustrate that God wanted Gentile civil governments to recognize Him as who He is: for example, Exodus 7.5, 17; 14.4, 18 (Egypt); Ezekiel 25.11 (Ammonites); 25.14 (Edom); 25.17 (Philistia); 26.6, (Tyre); 28.22, 23, 24 (Zidon); 29.6, 9, 16, 21; 30.8, 19, 25; 32.16 (Egypt); 35.4 (Mt. Seir); 38.23 (the nations); 39.6, 7 (Magog & the heathen).

Solomon, in his blessing after dedicating the temple said, “That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.”[1]  David, within his last words, said: “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.  And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.”[2]  [To Nebuchadnezzar it was said] “they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”[3] So it happened and so Nebuchadnezzar then, after being restored to his kingship, “[extolled and  honoured] the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and his ways judgment,” recognizing that “those that walk in pride [God] is able to abase.” [4] So Nebuchadnezzar came to be called the “servant” of Jehovah.[5]

The writing is on the wall for all nations.

God judged King Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son, because he did not humble his heart and “lifted up [himself] against the Lord of heaven” and had not glorified God “in whose hand [Belshazzar’s] breath [was] and whose [were] all his ways,” knowing what God had done to his father.[6]  Darius, after seeing that God miraculously delivered Daniel when he was thrown into the den of lions, decreed:

“That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.[7]

Cyrus chose to serve God:

“That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut.” [8]

God sent Jonah to “cry against” the Gentile city of Nineveh “for their wickedness [had] come up before [Him].”[9]  After Jonah went through the city of Nineveh crying, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown,”[10] “[t]he people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.”[11]  “And God saw their good works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”[12] Unfortunately, more than a century later Nahum delivered an unrelieved warning of judgment because Nineveh had fallen back into moral awfulness:[13] “[H]e will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.”[14]  “According to Diodorus Siculus, the city was destroyed nearly a century later, precisely as [predicted by Nahum].”[15]

Thus God wishes each civil government to choose to rule for His glory under His precepts; that is, to establish free will for every individual while ruling under biblical principles, but not to enforce God’s rules concerning man’s relationship with God. Just as Belshazzar was without excuse in that he saw what God had done to his father, likewise rulers and civil governments today are without excuse in that the Word of God is available today for all to read and to know God’s principles and His ways.


Endnotes

[1] I Kings 8.60.

[2] II Samuel 23.3-4.

[3] Daniel 4.32b.

[4] Daniel 4.37.

[5] Jeremiah 25.9; 27.6; 43.10.

[6] See Daniel 5.17-31.

[7] Daniel 6.26-27.

[8] Isaiah 44.28-45.1.

[9] Jonah 1.2.

[10] Jonah 3.4.

[11] Jonah 3.5.

[12] Jonah 3.10.

[13] Nahum 3.1-19.

[14] Nahum 1.9.

[15] 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, headnote to Nahum, p. 952.