Was Hitler chosen by God?

According to Romans 13:1, yes, Hitler was chosen by God. And so is every arrogant, ruthless, uncaring, immoral and awful leader like him, because the “authorities that exist have been established by God.” And the reason God puts them in power is “to do you good” (verse 4).

It explains why Peter told Christians to “Honour the king” in 1 Peter 2:17, because anyone in power is an instrument of God for our benefit. And that would have included Nero, the Roman Emperor at the time of Peter’s writing, who not only had his mother and first wife killed, he also blamed Christians for the fire that gutted Rome’s city centre.

How, then, can putting such a despicable man in power do any good?

We have an answer from a despicable man just like Nero (and Hitler). His name was Nebuchadnezzar, a tyrant of a man who killed 100,000 Jews and deported the rest to slavery in Babylon. But God had good reason for putting such a man in power, to punish the Jews for their consistent unfaithfulness, idolatry and disobedience (Jeremiah 25:9).

But God had an even greater reason for choosing Nebuchadnezzar. He chose him as a lesson to all budding or residing leaders, that they’re only in their position of power by God’s permission and for God’s use and purpose, and he can rip them out of power any time he likes, or reduce them, as he did Nebuchadnezzar, to a crawling animal eating grass. And God made sure Nebuchadnezzar got that point for the sake of all leaders of all nations after him. And here is that point from Nebuchadnezzar’s own mouth in Daniel 4:27, that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whom he will, and sets over it the lowliest of men.”

Nebuchadnezzar recognized three things, that God is the ruling government on this planet, God is the one who puts people into power and removes them, and God has perfectly good reasons for the people he puts in power, even the most despicable or “lowliest” ones.

Nebuchadnezzar, therefore, was used by God to establish the rules of the game for leaders who are in power or seek power. For all Nebuchadnezzar’s tyranny God used him to expose the ultimate good for all aspiring and sitting leaders, and that is to recognize the supremacy of God. Most leaders probably won’t take Nebuchadnezzar’s experience or advice seriously, which God knows, but he chooses them anyway to show what happens when leaders don’t recognize God’s supremacy.

As Christians, meanwhile, we can relax and trust that God knows exactly what he’s doing, no matter how bad things get.

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