People power and the hand of God.
This week we have seen the fall from favour of two powerful politicians – Mugabe and Merkel. They have each held power in very different societies but their downfalls are both linked to the rise of people power.
People power signals the awakening of ordinary people to the misuse of power among the ruling elite that has been the source of oppression for far too long. It is now even affecting cruel dictatorships such as the Mugabe regime, which has dominated Zimbabwe for decades.
The popularist backlash has begun: where will it end?
Angela Merkel’s problems stemmed from her unwise single-handed decision to welcome more than one million asylum seekers from the Muslim world and to try to force other EU nations to follow the same policy. Her nearest neighbours – Poland, the Czech Republic, and Austria – have all resisted this pressure.
Other parts of the EU are experiencing something similar – a populist reaction against decisions made by those in power. In France, Macron’s sudden rise to prominence reflected a workers’ revolt against both left and right traditional political parties. But his failure to please the workers has brought them out onto the streets in protest.1
It remains to be seen whether a similar pattern will be followed in Zimbabwe if the vast army of unemployed do not see radical change with their new President, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
And what about the European Union itself? The cracks we have been forecasting in Prophecy Today UK are beginning to widen. The corruption at the heart of this evil institution with the gross rewards it pays to its unelected officials is becoming widely known and will bring its inevitable consequences. Politicians in the traditional parties throughout the European Union are watching the growth of anti-establishment, populist movements with trepidation.
The God Factor
But the major factor that the Establishment does not recognize is the God factor!
Yes, certainly, the forces of social change that are sweeping Europe and other parts of the world, including traditional monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, are of sociological significance, but they also have theological significance! They are not simply generated by human ambitions or discontent: they all show signs of the guiding Hand of God!
The Prophet Haggai prophesying in the year 520 BC may not have known God’s timetable, but he certainly received a clear revelation of the purposes of God when he declared, “This is what the Lord Almighty says: in a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations…”.
We are certainly seeing a great shaking of the world of nature through storms, hurricanes, floods, droughts and earthquakes – arguably more than in any other period in recorded history; and we are also seeing a great shaking of the nations.
This is where we need our Bibles more than sociological and political theory to give us a steer about what is happening and the likely outcomes of the forces of change that are driving the nations.
When we get a clear view of the nature and purposes of God, we have the necessary tools of analysis to enable us to understand what is going on in our world today. Without this knowledge we are left with our secular human frailty; alone in the universe, facing the gathering storms with winds of change reaching hurricane force and no compass or rudder to guide.
The two fundamental assets of the biblical prophets were: revelationary knowledge of the nature and purposes of God; and understanding of the sovereignty of God – that everything that happened was either because God directly willed it, or because he allowed it.
So, what’s happening among the nations today? Certainly, we can see that in Europe and the West, God is exposing the corruption, injustice and oppression exercised by the ruling elite who misuse their riches and their power to pursue selfish aims and objectives.
As Jeremiah stated in his famous ‘Temple Sermon’ (Jer 7), God hates injustice and oppression. There is something in our fallen human nature that still reflects the image of God, in which we were created, that enables us to recognise injustice and oppression and to reject them. This is what is happening today as God turns on the light, exposing the corrupt financial, political and social systems of the modern world.
Mrs Merkel’s fall from power is likely to trigger elections in the new year which will benefit the far-right nationalist ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) party, or even the ex-Communist Left Party. This will further destabilise Germany and could possibly trigger the collapse of the European Union, already under threat because of Britain’s withdrawal.
This gives an enormous opportunity to Britain to review the whole policy of offering enormous sums of money to the EU to allow us to come out from under its oppressive regulations.
But is the British Government sufficiently spiritually aware of what is happening in the world that political decisions can be made in line with the purposes of God? This is evidently not the case – unsurprisingly, given how few MPs are biblical Christians. This is where Christians are greatly needed to make their voice heard in the nation and to bring a ‘God-perspective’ into national decision-making.
At present there is very little indication that God-centred direction will come from the Church. But it is the Church that should be the prophet to the nation. In the absence of the word of God thundering through the naves of our cathedrals and from the pulpits of our churches, perhaps people power may yet emerge from the pews!
It is surely time for Bible-believing Christians to find every opportunity in this media-saturated world to declare the word of the living God to this godless generation!
The authorities in Israel were forced to take note of the disciples: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). May the backlash not only be seen on the streets, but in the churches as well!
1 E.g. Read more here.
References: Top image from Ben Curtis/AP/Press Association Images. Second image from Bernd von Jutrczenka/DPA/PA Images.
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