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Thursday, November 8, 2018



As I write this blog, voters are standing before machines, screens or with paper and pencil in hand, casting their votes in this year’s mid-term election.  If things go the way YOU want them to go, you might be very joyful tomorrow claiming that the nation has experienced some kind of deliverance.  If it goes AGAINST your preferences, you might declare the day a disaster!  

Do the elections seem capricious to you?  

Do you get frustrated at political maneuvering and gerrymandering? 

Do you think it has all gone awry somehow? Sometimes, because we live in a country where leaders are voted upon and decided through those votes, we seem to forget that ultimately, God is the one who is in charge.  I can’t explain how God uses our election system to accomplish his purposes, but make no mistake:  just because we are voting, does NOT mean God has abdicated his place on the throne to bow to our whims.  

Do you remember these scriptures:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.—Romans 13:1  (ESV)

For not from the east or from the west
    and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
 but it is God who executes judgment,
    putting down one and lifting up another.  –Psalm 75:6-7 (ESV)

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior”  --1 Timothy 2:1-3

These are just a couple of the scriptures that remind us who is really in charge, that nobody wins elections just through their own maneuvering or popularity, for behind it all there is a God who is acting in ways unseen to accomplish his will.  You may want to argue this point, and even choose to use Adolf Hitler as an example to prove God does not appoint the leaders, because of how evil Hitler’s reign was.  But I would remind you that when Paul wrote that Romans passage above, as well as this one from 1 Timothy, he was living under Roman domination, a rule so frightening that it was deeply hated in Israel.  It was also the Roman Empire that persecuted Christians for daring to not believe that Caesar was divine, culminating in the tortuous murders of Christians under the rule of Nero, who may have been the one in power when Paul wrote Romans.  When Paul was facing his own death sentence, he didn’t write another letter telling everyone he had been wrong, that God doesn’t place these wicked people in power and we shouldn’t respect or accept their authority.  Paul truly believed that God is behind the selection of governmental leadership, accomplishing his own purposes whether those leaders bow to God or not.  

Do YOU believe that?

When this election cycle ends, I can guarantee you that there are going to be people who won’t like the outcome, whichever way things go.  Personally, I think the perpetual grumbling against the government got its biggest boost during the Vietnam and Watergate eras, and that ever since, instead of respecting the office people have sought to bring specific leaders down while freely and viciously criticizing the various officials.  Now don’t get me wrong, I can grumble with the best of them!  And with the political leadership I have witnessed over the decades since Watergate, there seems to always be plenty to grumble about!  

But if we truly believe that God is behind it all, raising up one leader, removing another, establishing the authorities, then surely that requires us to take a different approach, does it not?  Paul spoke against a ruler who was unjustly punishing him once, but when he discovered it was an official leader of the people, he apologized and quoted this verse from Exodus:

“You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.”--Exodus 22:28  (ESV)

I wonder how the tone of our country would change if everyone took this stance.  If instead of grumbling about the elected leaders and all the government waste or abuse, we took to heart the admonition of 1 Timothy and seriously interceded for these individuals, whether we voted for them, and whether we like them or not.  In fact, perhaps one of the causes of poor leadership is that instead of praying for them, we grumble and complain instead.  Maybe part of the problem with government leadership isn’t found in the capitol, but is found in our own prayer closets. 

Let us all remember that no matter which side of the aisle, and no matter which end of the political spectrum we may be on, together we make up the United States of America, and those opposite us whom some would like to deem to be enemies are, in fact, fellow citizens who also love their country, even if they have a different view of how things should be. It is the ability to learn from one another, to listen to one another, to work our compromises that address the concerns of all that make our government strong. 

So, tonight, if you end up rejoicing, please remember that there are others who are disappointed, just as you may have been in a previous election with a different outcome.  And if you end up despairing, remember that no one point of view holds all the answers for our country, we need to learn from one another.  Most of all, however you feel after it all, remind yourself that God is still on the throne, and he is moving history just the direction he knows is best….even if you and I are unable to see it ourselves.

Join me tonight, and pray for our leaders, won’t you?

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