ODJ: Heaven Rules

October 29, 2017 

READ: Daniel 4:1-27 

The Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world (v.17).

The front page of the newspaper showed an overjoyed woman clapping her hands above her head. She wore not only a huge smile but also a T-shirt bearing the name of her favourite political candidate. Next to her photo was another picture of equal size. It showed a disappointed young man slumped over in defeat. Both were reacting to the results of a government election.

People everywhere have different opinions about what makes a good leader and which type of government would best suit their nation. But no matter who’s the top leader in our country, it’s comforting to remember that God is our ultimate authority.

King Nebuchadnezzar came to understand this fact in an unusual way. In a dream, he saw a fruitful tree cut down but not uprooted. Then an angel appeared and shouted a message, which contained this thought, “The Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world” (Daniel 4:17).

Fear gripped the king as he woke up (v.5). What did this mean for him? None of his magicians, fortune-tellers or astrologers could tell him, so he asked Daniel to explain the symbolism. Empowered by the Holy Spirit (v.8), Daniel revealed that the tree represented the king, who would be humbled by living in a pasture and grazing grass like a cow (v.25). The king would receive his vast empire back only when he acknowledged that God was in charge of everything—that “heaven rules” (v.26). Everything happened as Daniel predicted, with the king eventually being reinstated with more honour than ever before (vv.33-34).

While many leaders have good intentions, all people are imperfect. There’s only one completely perfect, holy and fair authority—God—and thankfully, He’s the King whose rule is everlasting!

—Jennifer Schuldt

365-day-plan: Acts 14:1-28

Read Psalm 47:5-9 and praise God for His authority in the world. 
Are there any exceptions to the Bible’s instruction to submit to government authorities? How does it help you to know that God reigns over all the earth?