Its that time again. Time to choose a leader of our country. Most of us are likely already getting annoyed with political drivel being thrown at us everywhere we seem to look. In our daily newspapers; all over our computers and social networks; grocery store banter as well as the coffee shops and specialty stores. It is probably infiltrating talk at fellowship circles at our churches and Bible study groups too. I fear it will be getting worse as this year progresses.
The 2012 Presidential election was one of the most aggressive and also one of the closest in our history. Unbelievable amounts of money were thrown about by both major parties and countless numbers of political action groups to do their best to influence our votes in the direction of the investors.
After so many different types of attacks on the religious circles, specifically Christian faiths, the religious right was likely shocked that their favored candidate didn’t win. They had prayed for their candidate; prayed for the country. Didn’t God listen to the prayers and didn’t He want to grant these wishes to come true?
As we get deeper and deeper into this election cycle I am reminded time and again of the 2008 electoral season. Early in the summer of 2008 I started thinking that it was beginning to be more and more like a cult that was in a fever to elect a liberal named Barack Obama to the highest post in the country, hence the most powerful position in the whole world. A junior senator with absolutely no positive track record was starting to take the lead in polls. An unlikely candidate that nobody had even heard of not too many years earlier. And if a person who disagreed with the stances that Obama had taken on different issues and wanted to research or debate those with one who supported Obama, they were ridiculed and chastised for doing so. How dare you question my candidate? And that is how I started equating Obama with a cult style mania. And he gets elected in a race that wasn’t all that close. And four years later that candidate was re-elected to another four years for a second term. Again with little to no substance in his legacy to stand on.
Enter Campaign 2016: A so-called conservative, who had never before been very involved in politics, was creating waves in the conservative machine. He has access to a plethora of cash and this candidate has proven to be a successful business person over that past thirty years. And now once again if one disagrees with the position and stances of Donald Trump, the supporters of Trump want to take you to task and decree that there is no way you should be questioning how their candidate is doing things. So we now have the 2016 Cult, another effort to shame one into voting a candidate into the lofty position of President of the United States.
The transpiring of the political winds of the past eight years have led me to want to study my Bible to try to glean answers to my question of how God plays this out in appointing our world leaders. Does God answer our prayers? Or just focuses on having us deal with and put up with what we are having forced upon us? Hmmmm…..
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. ~ Romans 13:1 +++
Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” ~ John 19:11 +++
He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. ~ Daniel 2:21
After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ ~ Acts 13:22 +++
No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. ~ Psalms 75:6-7
“‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’” ~ Daniel 4:17
So if God has already decided who our leaders are supposed to be, why do we vote and why to those leaders disagree with one another? Should we even vote? What’s with the evil ones? Do we follow the evil leaders and their whims?
For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it. ~ Proverbs 2:21
But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses. ~ Exodus 9:12
All these Scriptures make me think that our nation is being punished right now for the path we have taken; a path that leads us away from our Lord Jesus. The verse from Exodus has hit this writer quite hard in this research. In my own mind I have wondered, sometimes out loud even, how and why our leaders can be so blind to what surely seems to be the righteous path for us to follow. The past 100 years on this earth have shown us Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao —- Is God judging a nation, for that matter this world, to bring about an even greater good?
God used the kings of Babylon and Assyria to punish the Jews. But as always, God had a good reason. The Jews of Israel had strayed from the Word of God. Then after they were punished by God over many years of battles and persecution from the Babylonians and the Assyrians, since God is always a fair and just God, punished Babylon and Assyria……for punishing the Jews.
Since all men, hence all nations, cannot be free from sin, God can choose to punish any and all nations. Could that be why we are feeling the worldwide scourge of ISIS? And extremism Islam?
God probably didn’t think that the earliest Christians really deserved to be punished but by doing so they were more quickly dispersed about the known world. And this would help spread the Gospel to as many as could be possible.
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. ~ Romans 13:2-5 +++
This Scripture from the Book of Romans is a hard one for this writer to digest. For the better part of a decade I have disagreed with the direction the current administration has been leading our country. I have felt that the political party that has been in the most powerful position for most of the past eight years has been trying to point our country away from the face of God. I am convinced that we are being told to follow more human leanings than godly ones. And this all makes me feel that we have all strayed a bit further from Jesus through it all. Evil has been a part of this world since Adam and Eve first ate from the apple in the Garden of Eden. And then we fell further away from God when Cain killed Able and tried to hide that fact from God. Each and every one of our sins is known to God. We might be able to hide them from our peers but God is all knowing and all seeing.
They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction. ~ Hosea 8:4
More and more we need to pray for guidance; guidance not only for ourselves but our nation. At times, it seems that the elected leaders are put in power because of some reason known only to God. And it is in times like what we are seeing now that we should be humbling ourselves before the cross to plead for the forgiveness of our sins.
But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. ~ Genesis 19:26
Pray and always look forward. Never look back on what is behind you. Our future is ahead of us; our future is eternal life with God. So stay the course and use the Word of God as assurance of the direction of the political winds. May all the glory be to the name of our Lord. Amen.