Read all of Proverbs 21, but the focus is on Proverbs 21:1.
Stalin, Clinton, Churchill, Washington, Napoleon, Hitler, Lincoln, Caesar, Alexander the Great, Obama… Many consider these (and other) leaders to be some of the great men of history. Some of them used their opportunity to lead to make a positive difference and change history for the better. Others were wicked men who used their time in the sun to kill, and destroy, and wreak havoc. For many of them, because of their position, they believed they were masters of their own fate. They thought that they were their own God and on top of the world. In fact, some of the great leaders considered themselves to be God. The Roman Emperors were often called “Lord and God” by the people. These leaders believed they could do anything they wanted, and use their armies and power to advance their own cause.
God is sovereign, meaning that He is in control of all of history. Everything that happens in human history takes place because God is accomplishing His ultimate purpose and plan. Some leaders have realized that God is in control, and therefore, have followed Him in their time of power. God has used some of these men to accomplish great things. Abraham Lincoln was a man of faith who wanted to serve God in his presidency. As he grew in his faith, he began to understand that God was the creator of all men, and that slavery was wicked. As a result of God’s control in his life, he was the primary instrument God used to abolish slavery.
On the other hand, some leaders rebel against God and have a wicked heart. But God still accomplished His plan through those men as well. Hitler killed millions of Jews. He propagated hate and was immoral. Yet, it was because of Hitler that the Jews left Europe and returned to Israel. In many Biblical prophecies there are references to the nation of Israel in the events of the last days. From 70 AD until 1944 there was no nation of Israel. Jews were scattered all over the world. The area called Palestine, which is the land where Israel was in Bible times was inhabited by Muslim people. Hitler’s persecution caused Jews to flee Europe and return to Israel, and in 1944, Jews organized themselves, started a new government, and the nation of Israel existed again. While Hitler’s actions were evil, God used that wickedness to do what He wanted. In the end, Hitler committed suicide and will spend eternity separated from God in hell. Hitler was nothing more than a pawn in God’s ultimate plan.
Kings, presidents, princes, senators, dictators, and prime ministers are nothing more than instruments that God uses to fulfill His ultimate purpose. In the end, they will either experience judgement because of their actions, or they will spend eternity with God because they trusted Him. But in the long run, they are like a river that flows through a valley. The river goes where the valley directs it. Rulers hearts and actions are controlled by a sovereign God. He will always accomplish His plan, even through the wickedness of men.