Whether you are on Facebook, Fox News, or in a Southern Baptist church, you are gonna hear and read about all kinds of conspiracy. “The government is out to take away our rights: strings are being pulled, money is exchanged under tables, and things are never as they seem,” they say. In an SBC church, you are as likely to here a discussion about whether Obama is the anti-christ as anything else. Christians fear that the “end times” will fall upon them without warning; perhaps they might even be tricked into receiving the “mark of the beast” by accident! Yikes!
Well, I say conspiracy theories are for the birds. “But Pastor, you need to be engaged with the culture!” Amen to that. However, I will engage my culture on God’s terms, not on man’s. Let us reason together, as the prophet Isaiah invited, concerning who actually has complete control over national governments, international crime rings, and dodgy political double-speakers. You see, mankind has been involved in conspiracy, lies, and behind-the-scenes power struggles since Cain killed Abel. One thing has remained constant: God is in sovereign control.
Listen to the words of the Psalmist:
Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.’
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
‘As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.’
God is not taken off guard by political conspiracy; Christians serve the God who moves the rulers of this world about like pawns on a chess board. Their scheming, lying, and deception are all blatantly obvious to the eyes of the LORD, and he laughs at their puny attempts at power-grabbing. The entire book of Isaiah establishes the fact that every king, every ruler, every nation flourishes and falls at his command. The Assyrians conspired with other nations to overcome Israel, yet God predicted their success as a sign to his people that he himself directed the authorities of this world.
God’s instructions to Isaiah are as apt today as they were in the 8th century B.C.: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” Both houses of Israel were so wrapped up in conspiracy theories that they had forgotten who was the one raising up these kings and bringing victory after victory before their armies.
Were God’s servants in the Bible concerned about the plots of wicked men? David was ousted by his own son. Jeremiah was undercut by lying prophets. Daniel was thrown in the lions’ den by treachery. Jesus himself was betrayed by one of his own disciples and handed over to a group of lying, scheming, religious-faced serpents. Was it the ultimate concern of any of these men to blow the whistle on what was happening behind closed doors? Did they seek to vindicate themselves before men? Were they wrapped up in what might or might not have been happening between power players in their day? No. They feared the Lord, speaking his truth and trusting that he was in complete control.
It is interesting to me that many of the people who claim to believe in the sovereignty of God are the same ones constantly posting videos, having conversations, and living in general fear of our government and other shady figures of our society. Does God’s control not reach into the political hallways and back-alleys of hand-shake conspiracies and back-handed double dealings? May our insecurities, doubts, and fears drive us not to the internet, to news outlets, or to theories, but rather to the God who holds the world and all of its puny pawns in his hands. He has said, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose'” (Isaiah 46:9b-10).
If, then, this God is for us, who in heaven, on earth, or under the earth can stand against us?