Observations on the Inauguration of President Donald J. Trump by Dr. David Nicholas, President of Shasta Bible College & Graduate School
January 20, 2017 was a momentous day for those of us who believe that God still has a significant place in American politics and culture. After eight long years under President Barak Obama, who boldly and intentionally disavowed the idea that America was ever a Christian nation, disinvited Franklin Graham to the National Prayer Breakfast, determined to embed adherents to Islam in the White House, throughout government agencies and design immigration policies to ensure that Muslims were represented in almost every state in the nation; it was indeed refreshing to hear the reading of relevant Biblical passages by Franklin Graham and the inaugural prayers of Christian and Jewish leaders (two of whom actually prayed in Jesus name), not to mention references to God by President Trump himself.
Although many conservative Christians initially opposed or had serious misgivings about a Trump presidency, I found it interesting that in the end, it was evangelical Christians who put him over the top. I believe this happened primarily in response to nation-wide prayer in homes, churches, at state Capitol prayer rallies and because of endorsements by well-known Christian leaders who foresaw the threat to religious liberty, Biblical morality, national integrity, our Constitutional Republic, American security and culture in general should Hillary Clinton prevail. Even one liberal appointment to the Supreme Court who reflected Clinton’s progressive/socialist values would have doomed or severely diminished America’s time-honored conservative values for generations to come. In my opinion, we were spared that fate only by the mercy and grace of God.
Yes, I do believe God’s hand was involved in the outcome of this election. Let me tell you why. On January 20, 2017, prior to the Inauguration, a special message was prepared for President elect and Mrs. Trump, Vice President elect and Mrs. Pence, families and friends. The message was delivered at St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C. Dr. Robert Jeffress, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas, TX delivered the message entitled, “When God Chooses A Leader.” In his introduction, Dr. Jeffress reminded them that it was the prophet, Daniel (2:21) who said it is God who removes and establishes leaders. And then Dr. Jeffress said this: “President elect Trump, I remember that it was exactly one year ago this weekend that I was with you on your Citation jet flying around Iowa before the first caucus or first primary vote was cast. After our Wendy’s cheeseburgers, I said that I believed that you would be the next President of the United States. And if that happened, it would be because God had placed you there.”
Then Pastor Jeffress went on to say that when he thought of President –elect Trump, he was reminded of another great leader God chose thousands of years ago. He explained that the nation of Israel had been in bondage for decades and that the infrastructure of the country (Israel) was in shambles. It was then, he said, that God raised up a powerful leader to restore the nation, and the man he choose was neither a politician nor a priest. Instead, He chose a builder whose name was Nehemiah.
The first step in the rebuilding of the nation was the building of a great wall to protect its citizens from enemy attack. He said, “You see, God is not against building walls.” He then pointed out that Nehemiah records that the massive project was completed in record time, just in 52 days. Then Dr. Jeffress explained why Nehemiah was so successful in building the wall and rebuilding the nation. I won’t go into detail, but his three points were:
(I) Nehemiah Refused To Allow His Critics To Distract Him,
(2) Nehemiah Refused To Allow Setbacks To Stop Him, and
(3) Nehemiah Sought God’s Help to Empower Him.
At the conclusion of the message, Pastor Jeffress reminded President-elect Trump of the Biblical starting point for Making America Great Again: Psalm 33:12: “Blessed –great- is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
And I would add this, not only does Daniel 2:21 remind us that it is God who removes and establishes leaders, but verse 22 goes on to say, “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.…” President Trump, seek the light that God can give you through His Word, prayer and the counsel of honest, righteous men who are intimately acquainted with Jesus Christ who Himself said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6).
As a personal point of interest, in early November, 2016 I was privileged to attend First Baptist Church of Dallas while in Texas for the 25th Anniversary of the Pre-Trib Rapture Study Group. The Chair of our Bible Department, Dr. George Gunn, was with me. We were tremendously impressed by the ministry of Dr. Robert Jeffress that Sunday morning. In fact, just to underscore the godly, Biblically oriented pastor that he is, as visitors we were given a copy of his recent book, “NOT All Roads LEAD to HEAVEN: Sharing an Exclusive Jesus in an Inclusive World.”
I thought it tremendously significant that a faithful servant of Christ like Dr. Jeffress was asked by our newly elected President to bring the Inaugural Day message to him, his Vice President, their families and friends. “God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform,” is a truth expressed by English hymn writer, William Cowper, in a popular English hymn in 1773, no doubt taken from Isaiah 55:8,9:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
According to Daniel 2:21 and Proverbs 21:1, God not only removes and establishes rulers, but,
“The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.
So, let’s remember that on January 20, 2017, God did the unexpected and placed Donald John Trump in office. Our task now is to uphold President Trump in prayer and remember that only God through prayer and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit can bring about lasting moral and spiritual change in America.