The presidency of Donald J. Trump is a grand enigma, so enigmatic that powerful opponents — and even some supporters — thought he must have had outside help to win the Oval Office. The Mueller investigators spent more than $30 million over two years searching for Russian collusion and produced almost 450 pages trying to solve the Trump enigma but found no collusion. Impeachment proceedings then feverishly sought reasons to remove Trump from office.
The maddening (to some) mystery remained: What power made Donald Trump the president of the United States of America?
“How?” is indeed at the heart of the Trump enigma.
Journalists, academics, celebrities, members of Congress, and a multitude of others are searching for a contemporary “Alan Turing,” the British savant who solved the Nazi “Enigma” code in the Second World War. The mystery of the covert code consumed Turing and his team, working in Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, England.
However, no cryptanalysts have been able to decipher the mystery of Trump, because they are looking in the wrong places.
Since the Democrats’ 2018 takeover of the United States House of Representatives, there has been a near-frantic attempt to turn the House into a political “Bletchley Park,” where money and energy are being spent on trying to wrest the Oval Office from a man they believe should not, by all logic, be there at all.
Who put him in office? How was it possible for a person many prognosticators said could not win the presidency to do just that? Did Russia somehow bring about the Trump victory? Were there mysterious forces at work beyond the capacities of the “deep state” to put Donald Trump in the Oval Office?
Some of the nation’s leading evangelicals believe that God put Trump in the presidency. They include people like Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham; Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., whose father was the founder of the Moral Majority; and Robert Jeffress, pastor of Dallas First Baptist Church — a flagship for Southern Baptists, America’s largest evangelical denomination.
Nikki Haley infers that both the permissive and intentional will of God could be applied to Trump’s election to the Oval Office. “I think God sometimes places people for lessons and sometimes places people for change,” she told David Brody, White House correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network.
How could she and others believe God chose Trump as president? Why would such noted leaders put their reputation on the line for a man like Trump?
Could it be that God really did select or at least permit Donald Trump to occupy the Oval Office in this critical season for the United States? If God, who is perfect in His holy character, chose Trump, whose character is regarded by many as flawed (to put it generously), why would the Lord of History grant him authority?
To answer that question, I argue in my book, Two Men from Babylon: Nebuchadnezzar, Trump, and the Lord of History, we must turn to two important passages in the Bible.
The Old Testament Scripture was written by the Hebrew prophet Daniel, who was captive in Babylon during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign. In fact, Daniel had much interaction with the king, who himself was such an enigma. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Daniel wrote:
Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings.
The New Testament text that is joined to Daniel’s prophecy records words spoken by Jesus: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
Five principles are clear from these passages:
First, God has grand purposes for time and history: the coming of the King of kings and Lord of lords, the advance of His kingdom in the world, and ultimately, at His return, the establishment of the kingdom globally.
Second, there are manifestations of the kingdom that appear throughout finite time and history, giving hints of how the world will look when the kingdom comes fully.
Third, the biblical church established at Pentecost is the primary agent for the expansion of kingdom ministry in the world between Christ’s ascension and His return, and through it, all institutions are to be impacted by kingdom principles.
Fourth, nations are of strategic importance in the fulfillment of God’s plan.
Fifth, it is God who establishes and removes the leaders of those nations either by His intentional will or by His permissive will, with His purposes for time and history in view.
Human observers can only speculate about the resolution of the riddle that is Trump. However, the answer to the removing and establishing of any national leaders, whether Barack Obama, Donald Trump, or any others, can be found only in the kingdom’s purposes and plans of the Lord of History.
Therefore, the Lord of History is the focus of this volume, not President Trump or any other human leader.
Adapted from TWO MEN FROM BABYLON: NEBUCHADNEZZAR, TRUMP, AND THE LORD OF HISTORY. Copyright © 2020 by Wallace Henley. Published by Thomas Nelson. www.twomenfrombabylonbook.com
Wallace Henley was born two days before the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 5, 1941. After serving as a White House aide during the Nixon administration, Henley went on to become an award-winning journalist for the Birmingham News in Alabama. He is the author of more than twenty books, including God and Churchill with Jonathan Sandys, Winston Churchill’s great-grandson. Henley has led leadership conferences around the globe. He has been married to his wife, Irene, for more than fifty years. They have two children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. His latest book, Two Men from Babylon: Nebuchadnezzar, Trump, and the Lord of History, is available wherever books are sold.