God controls the affairs of nations. Kings and rulers are in His hands. God raised up Obama to be our President when He did. God raised up Trump to be President also. These are affairs that are essentially out of our hands to a large extent. God raises people up to rule in various ways. In America, it’s through the voting system. That’s one reason it’s so important for us to cast our vote when we get the chance. Because of the Magna Carta as well as the Declaration of Independence, we have the privilege of making our voice heard in our votes. We can work at moving our fellow citizens to our opinion, arguing issues, and explaining platforms, etc. But in the end, when it’s all said and done, it’s God who raises up and brings down.  Daniel 2:21 says, “He (God) removes Kings, and sets up Kings.” We each have a responsibility to be involved but with hundreds of millions of people, only God can choreograph the moves that can bring about a desired result. I know, we think people do, but I’m convinced we are wrong!

Jeremiah had informed the people of Judah that God had raised up a nation that will conquer them and take them away as slaves and even burn the Temple. What would be the proper response to such news? Well, God would like to see repentance from dead self-reliance and return to trusting Him. That of course begins with the realization of our personal hopelessness in the situation and acknowledging God’s sovereignty. In Jeremiah 6:24-25, he explains how God wants Israel to respond. He writes, “We have heard the report of it; our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in labor. Go not out into the field, nor walk on the road, for the enemy has a sword; terror is on every side.” But Israel insisted on holding on to their own efforts.

Repentance is not expressing sorrow for a particular sin. It’s the understanding of our true condition before God. Truly, “our hands fall helpless” in the face of life’s sufferings and sorrows, sicknesses and death. We cannot help ourselves in any way. I like what Kansas said in the song “Dust in the Wind.” They sing, “…Don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky…It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy…” Remember that the curses of Genesis 3 involved much pain in childbirth, much frustration in raising a crop amidst a world filled with thorns and thistles, animosity between people which was immediately apparent with Cain and Abel, and death as the byproduct of failing to trust God.  Be sure that the enemy has a sword.  But Jesus came to reverse the curse for us. That’s why He wore a crown of thorns. He said in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Great question for us all to ponder! As God exhorted Israel to trust Him in the face of annihilation, so too, does Jesus call us to trust Him as well.