I’m writing this post on the afternoon of Election Day 2016 (take note: I’m not writing from the perspective of knowing who was elected) and, as I write, I’m thinking and praying about what the next years may hold. I’m aware that we’re entering a new era, one that will be filled with many challenges (and perhaps persecution) for the Church. In light of that, I’m earnestly praying but I’m not wringing my hands or caving to fear—and I hope you aren’t either.
I’m not caving to fear because I know that God alone rules—and acknowledging that provides deep comfort and hope!
As we watch the election results, and prepare for the transition to a new administration, how should we respond? We find our proper response to the 2016 Election in Psalm 146:
- Praise. That should be our first response.
[box]Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being (vv. 1–2).[/box]
God is worthy of our praise today—no matter what has occurred. No matter who now takes the office of President (or any other elected office), God deserves to be praised. He has not left His throne, this has not taken Him by surprise, and He has not abandoned us.
- Keep a true perspective.
[box]Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish (vv. 3–4).[/box]
Remember that narcissistic, self-worshiping, ruler—Nebuchadnezzar? He loved exalting himself, he was convinced he deserved the people’s adoration, he even built a lovely golden monument to himself. But he was no match for our Ruler. Nebuchadnezzar’s time was limited, his life a mere breath, and he perished long ago, while God still remains. He mistakenly thought he was a god, but soon discovered that God is in a category of one alone.
- Remember the role of human government.
[box]Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin (vv. 5–7).[/box]
It is not the role of government to feed, clothe, and care for us—that is our responsibility. God is our ultimate provider, and He commissions the Church to administer help to the needy and oppressed. The role of human government is to protect its citizens and provide a stable and safe environment for those citizens to function and live productive lives and through law to hold back the baser elements that are products of man’s fall.
- Remember that God alone rules.
[box]The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord (v. 10)![/box]
Men are under the delusion that they reign and have control of future events. They don’t. They could not even exist without the ability to take in oxygen that is provided by their Creator. He is the One who puts in place earthly rulers, with a limited time to govern; their lives are brief and soon lost to the pages of history.
[box]“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding” (Daniel 2:20–21).[/box]
Daniel functioned under an egomaniac and corrupt earthly king–Nebuchadnezzar. And although Daniel honored God by honoring civil governance, his allegiance was to a higher authority. When challenged to obey an ordinance in opposition to God’s rule, Daniel chose God every time.
Did you recall Nebuchadnezzar’s story when I mentioned it earlier in this post? Did you know this “wanna-be-god” had a “come-to-Jesus” wake-up moment?
[box]He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will (Daniel 5:21).[/box]
Christians of every generation have endured godless rulers and egomaniac leaders. At least 28 civilizations before us have collapsed from moral demise. The number of Christian martyrs is greater today than at any time in history. But God is still on His throne.
“I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal, and it delights me to leave them there.” (Valley of Vision)
God is good, He is trustworthy, and He is working out His sovereign plan. We can praise Him for that.
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