Does Islamic State (ISIS) serve Jehovah?
by Carl Mease
Ever since I was saved in 1970 Iíve heard that unless there is repentance and revival in America, Godís judgment will surely come upon this nation. It was as far back as 1965 Ruth Graham is quoted as saying:
ďIf God doesnít judge America for her immorality, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.Ē
I canít believe that God will ever be apologizing for anything, as Ruth espoused, but we get the point. So, what does Godís judgment have to do with ISIS serving the God of the Bible? The Bible clearly reveals that God is love, and also that He is a God of judgment. History and scripture teach us that He uses various means to administer His judgment, which include armies of pagan nations. Scripture is also clear that He removes and sets up national leaders in their positions (Dan.2:21) and because of this, He calls them His servants, shepherds and ministers. Cyrus is not called Godís shepherd (Is. 44:28), and Nebuchadnezzar is not referred to as Godís servant (Jer. 25:9) because of their idolatry, but because they were unknowingly serving God by doing His will. This makes sense, because there are certain events that have to happen to fulfill His ultimate plan. By the way, God later also brought judgment on Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar (Is. 10; Jer. 28).
Romans 13 informs us that ďÖ there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.Ē (Rom. 13:1b), which would mean that whatever government is presently in power is established by God. An example of this could be in our own American history. Although the American rebels were in blatant violation of Romans 13:2, once they overthrew the king God had placed over them, the American citizenry were suddenly now subject to the new government, with the same command not to rebel against the government God had placed over them.
Back to ISIS. God is maneuvering and changing governments to align with His ultimate plan. To accomplish this goal He continues to use totally evil rebel armies (such as ISIS) to overthrow existing governments. In this way ISIS is like Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, and Caesar, as all governments are His servants, shepherds and ministers. This does not mean these governments are blessed by God, but simply that He has placed them in power to accomplish His ultimate will.
The really relevant question for us is, ďWhat part does an individual believer in Jesus have in the process?Ē Clearly, we are never to violate or compromise our Lordís direct commands such as, love our enemies, do good to those who despitefully use us, and not resist an evil person. In addition, we would not want to promote or fight against Godís ultimate plans. Because He hasnít revealed the details of His strategy and plan, this leaves the believer simply trusting that God is in control, and continuing to pray for confidence and boldness to speak His word.
Our prayers for evil rulers should be fashioned after the prayer of the early church concerning evil rulers:
ďFor truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.Ē (Acts 4:27-31)