Government is not excluded from God’s authority. Even the nations are under his power, and it is not by the hands of the government that great works are completed-it is by God’s hand.
The story of King Nebuchadnezzar illustrates an example of God’s power over the kings of the nations. Nebuchadnezzar was ruler over one of the greatest nations on earth, and he was proud of himself. He spoke these words: “Is not this great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
God heard those words and decided that he would make an example of him. Not before the words left his lips he was on the scene telling Nebuchadnezzar what was going to happen to him in the future. God sentenced him to seven years of insanity, where he would live with the wild animals and eat grass like a cattle, and it happened. The great king went insane for seven years and lived with the wild animals, and when the seven years was up, God restored his sanity. Understanding then that Babylon was not by his own work but by God’s, Nebuchadnezzar looked to the sky and praised the Lord as his master and ruler (Daniel 4:28-34).
It is important that governments obey God and put his wishes first, because God has power over all the nations. A governing head needs to look to God everyday to make the right choices.
On the same token, God told his followers to obey their governments, because he has established the governments by his own hand (Romans 13:1-6). The government’s authority over its people is the same model of authority that the elders of a church have over its congregation. The congregation submits to the elders as the elders submit to God’s authority. In politics, the people submit to the government and the government submits to God’s authority.
Why has God said that he has established our governments when some of them are corrupt and don’t look to him as their head? Well, in 1 Samuel 8, Israel was begging God for a king of their own. At the time God was their only king, but they wanted to be like everybody else. God warned them about kings and governments. He said that a king and government would make slaves of its people through taxes and regulations, but the people of Israel still wanted a king to lead the way. Hearing the people’s complaints, He gave them what they wanted.