Two bible study lessons from Margaret Thatcher’s life

THE ex-British prime minister Margaret Thatcher may have made a lot of people angry that they would write such mean things about her on her death but I can’t help thinking that she had little choice over the things she did. She came to the earth to do what she was sent to do.

And she may have been something of a novelty as a woman to attract the name Iron Lady, but there are a lot of great lessons we can learn from her life, principles that we would find right there in the bible, especially when it comes to conducting business.

Lesson number one: She stood for what she believed

Looking at her life as a young woman, she said what she meant, and meant what she said. She was not afraid to make her point clear as she conversed with customers in her father’s grocery store (some said she would argue with them). School friends said it was her lone voice that would speak out at school, unusual for a young woman in her day. From the outset she displayed tunnel vision (without this ability, many dreams perish) for a life in politics and she had a very strong sense of what was right or wrong.

Margaret Thatcher stood strong where others failed to break the power of trade unions, eliminating the type of strikes that had led to the Winter of Discontent. Her policy of privatisation raised almost £50 Billon for the UK treasury, and gave rise to regulatory bodies like Ofgas and Oftel, which led to cheaper prices and better standards in public services. Privatisation also made it easier for ordinary folks to own assets, like shares and property, for the first time.

She was frugal – even insisted on paying for her own ironing board rather than taking it out of the treasury. She believed government, and households, should spend within their means.

Her Cabinet was afraid of her and often didn’t agree with her stance on policy but she did not court popular opinion. She had this belief, inherited from her father, that one should always make ones own mind up over a matter, and not because someone else had decided for you. As a result she had some interesting names ascribed to her, like Thatcher, the Milk Snatcher, Iron Lady and Attilla the Hen. Yes, there were a number of ways in which her policies backfired and they say some of the poor got poorer, but there is still more we can learn from her life.

She was the second most unpopular prime minister of post war Britain and, had it not been for the Falklands War, which turned her waning popularity around, she might not have won to stand another term… but that’s the point. She did. Why?


Lesson number two: God can use anyone

It looks to me like Margaret Thatcher was born for the road she travelled. Contrast her with someone like Alexander the Great, of whom it is prophesied in Daniel 7:6 (and 20-22) would exercise a level of dominion over the world at the speed of a leopard with wings. Two hundred and fifty years later, Alexander the Great ripped through Europe and Asia on a conquering spree, building one of the largest empires of the ancient world. He was just 30.

While his father preferred diplomacy Alexander showed an eagerness to fight. He was versatile with different arms and in adapting his tactics to defeat his enemies. For a time he was thought to be invincible. And yet there was a real unlikeliness of his succeeding his father to sit on the Macedonian throne, but at his father’s death, he found no opposition. From the moment of his birth it was like there was an invisible hand guiding his destiny, a historian once wrote.

No one could stop him until God said – and it was God who did. He died from a mysterious illness at the age of just 33. He had finished his work.

Similarly, despite her unpopularity, Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s longest serving prime minister and seemed almost mythically invincible, until God’s time.

I am not ascribing any biblical prophecy to Margaret Thatcher, but she could not have wielded the power she did had God not allowed her to. I think the Falklands War was significant to that plan – its success gave her more time because she had not finished her work yet.

When we look at men and women like Margaret Thatcher and Alexander the Great, people whose lives have had great impact on the world’s course of history, we see that God can and does use anyone to bring his plans together. Just look at Cyrus, the Persian king, in whom the Lord placed His desire to have Israel rebuild the temple.

If we need more proof we have only to look at the following:

For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Revelation 17:17


Scripture reference used in this article

After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. Daniel 7:6

See also Daniel 7:20-22


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