This is a very important question to consider. Who controls history? What we are saying is, who controls the events of history? There are some who say that things are spinning out of control. And certainly in some cities of our country and some places of the world, the violence is so great that it appears no one is in charge.
So, who controls history?
Is history controlled by the conquering nations of the world? Their exploits certainly make the history books. But do they control history? Artists, entertainers and athletes certainly leave their mark on history. But do they control history through their paintings, songs, movies, plays and athletic achievements? Entrepreneurs and business leaders use their financial resources, leadership and influence to impact millions of people. Inventors bring to us new devices and tools to improve our lives. Certainly all of these people impact history. But do they control history?
The Bible tells us who controls history.
History is not controlled by the kings of the earth. In Isaiah’s day, it appeared that the conquering nations of Assyria, then Babylon, then Persia were in control of history. It felt like that to the nation of Israel because those nations in succession overwhelmed Israel and controlled their daily lives. But God spoke to those nations who were on the mainland and the island nations, reminding them that they were accountable to Him.
The kings of the earth who lead the nations of the world need to recognize that they are in power only because of the sovereign hand of God allowing them to rule. He is the one who stirs up leaders, who gives nations over to them, and who subdues kings (see above). The kings of the earth may think that they control history, but they do not. They are under the sovereign control of the Lord.
History is not controlled by the idols of the world. Sadly, people worship idols. Some people worship idols made of wood, jewels or precious metals formed into particular images. Others worship idols such as money or pleasure. Some worship demonic beings or forces of nature. Still others worship famous artists, entertainers, athletes, business leaders, political action groups, educators, or others, putting their allegiance in those people and blindly following those folks no matter how extreme their ideas. But history is not controlled by the idols of the world.
5 The islands see and are afraid, the whole earth trembles. They approach and arrive. 6 Each one helps the other, and says to another, “Take courage!” 7 The craftsman encourages the metalworker; the one who flattens with the hammer supports the one who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It is good.” He fastens it with nails so that it will not fall over. (Isaiah 41:5-7)
In the verses above, Isaiah describes how the craftsman, the metalworker, and all of the others who are making the idol talk with one another and convince each other that the idol is good. But the idol is not good. The truth is that the idol does not have any power. They have to fasten the idol with nails so that it does not fall over. How can a statue that has to be held up with nails control history? It can’t.
The Lord controls history. It is truly the sovereign Lord of the universe who controls history. He has powers that the idols do not have. He controls events in ways that the kings of the earth only try to control them. Truly, the kings are under His sovereign control, and the idols of the world are speechless before Him.
The Lord is the one who was at the beginning (He is “the first”) and He will be there at the end (“the last”). He is the great I AM, meaning that He is the self-existant One, the One who always does what is right, always gives us what we need, always acts in accordance with His perfect will. We can trust Him.
Conclusion. If you truly believe — as the Bible says — that the Lord controls history, then you will remain calm no matter whatever events occur all over the world, or in your own neighborhood. You will not put your trust in the idols of the earth or the kings of the world. If you truly believe that the Lord controls history, then you will follow Him and His ways. And you will trust Him for the little things that happen to you every day, knowing that you are under His loving, sovereign control. Walk with Him. Follow Him. Trust Him. The Lord is in control.