He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. (Luke 1:52)

Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew history. She praised God for the mercy He showered on Israel. She acknowledged His kindness to her. And she recalled how He scattered the proud and toppled rulers. Perhaps she was thinking about God’s judgment of the pre-flood generation or about what He did to the haughty builders of the Tower of Babel. She may have recalled how God overthrew Pharaoh, humbled Nebuchadnezzar, and toppled Belshazzar.

Modern history, too, attests to God’s uncontestable power over rulers. Hitler, Stalin, Chairman Mao, Saddam Hussein, and other dictators held an ironclad grip over millions of people. Countless victims lost their lives under their rule, but each dictator occupied a shaky throne. Eventually, God brought them down!

We should not fear the threats and bullying of ungodly rulers. They may rage against God and try to usurp Him, but no one has ever fought successfully against God. And no one ever will. Because He is just and all-powerful, we can trust Him to judge the proud and lift up the humble.

We may hear today that another rogue nation has acquired a nuclear arsenal. The news would be very disturbing, of course. A dictator with his hands on nuclear weaponry might blow up the world—except for one comforting fact: God holds the world in His hands and holds rulers in check.

Pray for those who live under the rule of ruthless dictators, and thank God that He brings such rulers down from their shaky thrones.

Jim Dyet and his wife, Gloria, have been married fifty-three years and live in Colorado Springs, where Jim enjoys daily walks with his three dogs.