And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. (1 Samuel 8:18, KJV)
God was using the French Revolution to bring the dictator Napoleon to power, as a judgment on the French. After participating in the successful recapture of Toulon from the British and leading a brilliant campaign in Italy, the popular commander was sent to Egypt. He added the Battle of the Pyramids to his victories, but his fleet was crushed at the Battle of the Nile. This forced him to sail back to France, and with his tremendous popular support, he ousted the government and the Council of Five Hundred (the French Congress) and appointed himself First Consul. In 1804, Napoleon dispensed with this worthless title and was “elected” Emperor. He began the Napoleonic Wars, cunningly using the revolutionary fervor to his advantage. For ten years, Napoleon was unbeatable on the battlefield and wielded government power to an extent that France had not seen for one hundred years since the “Sun King” Louis XIV. But at last the allied armies arrived near Paris and forced the dictator into exile on Elba. He escaped, rallied an army and chased Louis XVIII out of France. With his new army, he attacked the British, the Germans, the Prussians, the Belgians, and the Dutch in Belgium. The armies met at Waterloo, and Napoleon was crushed. After the battle, he surrendered and was exiled to the distant island of St. Helena, where he died.