Throughout all of Biblical history God has used heathen kings and rulers to accomplish His work. In this Scripture, God used the Persian Emperor, Artaxerxes, to offer Nehemiah government funding and military escort to rebuild the wall surrounding Jerusalem. In Exodus 9:16, Moses declared God’s message to Pharaoh, “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you My power and that My Name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Even Pilate was used of God. For when Pilate threatened Jesus that he had the ultimate authority to either crucify or free Him…Jesus replied, ” You have no power over Me if it were not given to you from above.” ( John 19:11) Those in power have never been or will ever be beyond the reach of God’s hand…for it tells us in Proverbs 21:1, The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.”
It could have me with that agitated crowd yelling, “Crucify Him!” Or worse yet, it could have me standing within that frenzied crowd too scared to open my mouth and object to the injustice I was witnessing. Would I have just stood there silently condoning the atrocity as it played out before me, more afraid of man than God? Yes, that could have been me.