It is a notion as old as time: We must have what we have, because God gave it all to us. The wealthy and the powerful have often justified their circumstances, both to themselves and others, by claiming God as the source of their wealth and power.
Notions like "God made me king" or "God ordained that we should possess this land" have been used to justify all manner of evil from the dawn of time. Indeed, for many millennia of human history, people have employed these arguments to justify the executions and slaughter of anyone who opposed them or in any way impeded their access to what they believed God had given them. And, in a grotesque kind of circular reasoning, they have argued that their triumph over their competitors/enemies supplies the necessary evidence or proof that God intended for them to have it in the first place!
This is the reasoning that underpins things like the Divine Right to Rule, White Christian Nationalism and Anglo-Israelism. The existing order is the way that God intended for things to be - otherwise, they wouldn't be the way that they are! After all, God gave the Israelites their land, and God decreed that the Assyrians and Babylonians would conquer them. God decreed that the Greeks and Romans would rule the world. Isn't that right? Didn't God tell Daniel "that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world. He gives them to anyone he chooses..." (Daniel 4:17)? Didn't God tell the Israelites that he was the source of everything that they had (Deuteronomy 8:17-18)? Didn't they call it the "Promised Land" for good reason?
In the United States, this kind of thinking has been used to justify the dispossession and extermination of Native Americans, the enslavement and further mistreatment of Africans, imperialism, the exploitation of our natural environment and resources and to deny to women their equal rights as citizens of this republic. In more recent times, this kind of thinking has been used to justify the harsh treatment of immigrants, the erosion of the rights of labor, the destruction of the middle class and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. And all of this has been justified by claiming that it has been carried out according to God's will.
In an article for the Berkley Forum, Philip Gorski wrote: "To understand how American Christianity became so entangled with racism and violence, we first have to trace it back to its scriptural roots. Those roots are dual. It turns out that WCN [White Christian Nationalism] is not just one story, but two. The first is a promised land story. The New England Puritans saw themselves as the heirs of the biblical Israelites. They imagined themselves as a 'chosen people,' and they came to see the 'new world' as their 'promised land.' And as their relationship with the natives shifted from curiosity to hostility, they began to see the Indians as 'Canaanites,' who had to be conquered." He continued: "The second story is an end times story. Most Christian theologians read Revelation in allegorical terms, as a depiction of the moral struggles within the believer’s heart. But some interpreted the text more literally, as a description of bloody struggles to come. That is how many Puritan radicals read it, and they exported those ideas to New England." see White Christian Nationalism: The Deep Story Behind the Capitol Insurrection
In the same article, Gorski went on to explain how these notions were applied to the American experience over time. He wrote: "But how did Protestantism and Englishness get entangled with whiteness? To answer that question, we need to shift our focus to Virginia. There, and elsewhere, the most common justification for the enslavement of kidnapped Indians and Africans was that they were 'heathens.' But this argument broke down in the late-seventeenth century as some enslaved persons converted to Christianity and some white Christians sought to evangelize them. The problem was initially resolved by shifting the legal basis of slavery from religion to color: 'Blacks' could be slaves; 'whites' could not. It was then more fully resolved by creating a new theological basis for slavery. Perhaps the most influential was the 'Curse of Ham.' Blacks were the descendants of Noah’s son, Ham, the argument went, and their color and enslavement were a result of the curse that Noah had called down on head."
In the most recent manifestation of this notion of White Christian Nationalism [WCN], Gorski explains how Trump has taken advantage of these historical threads and motivated a new movement within the United States. He concluded: "Trumpism is, among other things, the latest version of the WCN frame. Echoing the promised land story, Trump says he will 'take back the country' from the outsiders and invaders who have taken control—immigrants and secularists, Muslims and Mexicans—and then restore it to its rightful owners: 'real' (that is, white, Christian) Americans. Echoing the end times story, Trump paints the world in terms of us and them, good and evil, and hints at violent struggles to come. The first such struggle took place on January 6, 2021. It will not, I fear, be the last." And, of course, what Gorski didn't mention is the fact that "God must have placed Trump in office to accomplish these things."
Nevertheless, this kind of thinking fails to account for some other very important Biblical concepts that undermine the use of those scriptures in Daniel and Deuteronomy as justifications for bad behavior. Indeed, in their proper context, the verses cited in Daniel and Deuteronomy suggest that bad behavior will only result in the loss of whatever blessings a person/people has/have received. The Bible also informs us that sometimes the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. In other words, wealth and power are NOT always indicative of God's favor (see Ecclesiastes 7 and 8 and Luke 16:19-31). Christ taught that promised rewards and blessings will not necessarily be received in this world/life (see Matthew 5:1-12 and Luke 16:19-31). Jesus also taught his disciples that God "gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike." (see Matthew 5:45) And, in a similar vein, Scripture also teaches us that disaster doesn't just befall the wicked - that there is a thing called time and chance at work in the world (see Ecclesiastes 9:11 and Luke 13:1-5).
In conclusion, while we should always be thankful for the good things that we have received, those blessings should never be seen as an entitlement. Blessings should never be used as a justification to oppress others or to deprive them of their blessings. If you are fortunate enough to be blessed with some wealth, power or privilege in this life, then just be thankful for what you have received and be very careful not to do anything which might warrant its removal or earn you some future punishment!