Daniel 11:1 (ESV)
“And as for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him.
The individual speaking in the above verse is the angel who brought a message to Daniel from God. An angel from God confirmed and strengthened a pagan king. How can that be? That is the same question Habakkuk had. He cried out to God, “When are you going to judge your people for their sin?” God answered, “Judgment is coming at the hands of the Chaldeans.” Habakkuk’s next question was, “God, how can you use them to judge us? They are worse than we are.” He was asking how God could possibly use a pagan king. The question in Daniel is: How can an angel from God confirm and strengthen a pagan king?
Here in the United States of America some have been saying that Donald Trump is God’s anointed for leading this country. Others have been asking: How can God possibly anoint a man like Donald Trump? My question is: No matter who ends up in the white house after this next election, can you accept that God placed him there? Now, it is true that in the previous chapter of Daniel we saw that evil angels, or demons, can influence a leader and a country, yet Romans 13:1 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” How do we put that together?
Let’s establish a foundational truth here as we try to answer that question. God can and does use people who are not committed believers. If he can use a donkey to speak to a prophet, he can use anyone (see Numbers 22). For example, Isaiah 45:1 says, “Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus.” God calls Cyrus king of Persia his anointed. He anointed him for specific purposes, “to subdue nations . . . to loose the belts of kings, to open doors . . . that may not be closed.” A pagan king was God’s anointed.
Since Donald Trump is president of the United States of America we acknowledge that he is there by God’s will and purpose. If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris become the next President/vice-president of the United States, they will be there by God’s will and purpose. What God’s purpose is, he has not revealed. Can either of these, Trump or Biden, be influenced by demons rather than angels? Certainly, just at the Persian kings were influenced by demonic forces. But demonic powers can only go as far as God allows. There is a great battle in spiritual realms, but the good news is that God sets the parameters of the battle. Satan prides himself in being King of the World (see John 12:31), yet despite his delusion about being as great as God, his power and his time is limited.
We cannot see what is happening behind the scenes in the spiritual realm. Therefore, we need to be careful about calling anyone in political power either demonic or anointed by God. God knows. God is working his purpose. Whether it is a purpose of judgment or blessing, only time will tell, but God is working his purpose. Let us be careful then not to malign or exalt someone beyond what we can know. God knows. He is working his purpose. In that truth we rest, wait, and watch. In that truth we find hope even in the darkest times.