Many people wonder why the outcomes of elections are often so hard to predict. In the aftermath of the current elections, practically everyone will try to analyze why and how the winning candidates won and why and how the losing candidates lost.
Let us consider what may be happening behind the scenes—what God could be doing without our knowing it.
Does God ever determine who becomes a head of state and when? That idea might seem preposterous to many people who seldom or never read the Bible or don't believe its veracity. But according to considerable evidence from the Bible and from history, the answer is yes. This commentary is merely a brief introduction to that subject.
A related question is this: If God causes a person to receive a high office, does He always choose the "best" person for the job? Again, what the Bible says may surprise you.
Let's begin by taking note that God explained to the prophet Jeremiah that He was in the process of making Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon a world-ruling king (Jeremiah 27:4-7 Jeremiah 27:4-7  And command them to say to their masters, Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall you say to your masters;
 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed meet to me.
 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.
 And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.
American King James Version×). Then the book of Daniel tells the fascinating stories of Daniel at two different times interpreting dreams of Nebuchadnezzar. When Daniel was praising God for revealing the interpretation of the first dream, he said, "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever . . . He removes kings and raises up kings" (Daniel 2:20-21 Daniel 2:20-21  Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:  And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets up kings: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
American King James Version×, emphasis added).
This should not surprise anyone who believes that God is the Creator of the universe. If God is all-powerful, He can do anything He desires. When He wants a regime change, He can and will bring it about.
The prophecies in Daniel (especially in chapters 2, 7, 8 and 11) accurately predicted the rise and fall of four world-ruling empires: the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Greco-Macedonian, and the Roman empires. Only God can predict something that far in the future and then make it happen (Isaiah 46:9-10 Isaiah 46:9-10  Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
American King James Version×). The fact that God can foretell the rise and fall of nations proves that He "removes kings and raises up kings."
And the Bible has many, many examples of God doing that! Consider how God intervened to bring about the reigns of many kings of Israel and Judah, including Saul, David and Solomon.
In Daniel 4:17 Daniel 4:17This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the basest of men.
American King James Version×, Nebuchadnezzar related his second dream. God's message to him included a warning "so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men" (New International Version).
That part of God's message has three points. God always has supreme and active authority over all mankind. He at times determines who gets into leadership positions. And sometimes He punishes a nation by giving it a lowly ruler. This can mean low in character, in wisdom, in experience, in ability or all of the above.
This makes complete sense. Good government is a great blessing, and bad government is a great curse. If God wants to bless or punish a nation, one of the most powerful things He can do is to give the nation either a wise or unwise leader. "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan" (Proverbs 29:2 Proverbs 29:2When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bears rule, the people mourn.
American King James Version×).
Take comfort in knowing that God knows much better than any of us what kind of leader will best fulfill His purposes. Perhaps God would want a national leader who would bring about the long-range strength and well being of the nation. On the other hand, perhaps God would want to put in power a different kind of ruler—one whose policies would enable the members of His church to finish the work of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God to a world that desperately needs to hear it (Matthew 24:14 Matthew 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
American King James Version×; Matthew 28:19-20 Matthew 28:19-20  Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
American King James Version×).
Regardless of which leaders are in office, the Bible teaches the importance of good citizenship and respect for authority (Romans 13:1-7 Romans 13:1-7  Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
 Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Will you then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same:
 For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath on him that does evil.
 Why you must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
 For for this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually on this very thing.
 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
American King James Version×; 1 Peter 2:13-17 1 Peter 2:13-17  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;  Or to governors, as to them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.  For so is the will of God, that with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.  Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
American King James Version×). It also teaches praying for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2 1 Timothy 2:1-2  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
American King James Version×).
God is especially interested in what happens in major nations and empires. Much can be learned from the Bible that relates to the history and future of the United States.