In His Name
The Presidential primary season is in full swing, in fact as I write this tomorrow is "Super Tuesday" and the debate over who should be the GOP candidate is certainly a hot topic. In fact it is downright vitriolic, among the candidates, between the candidates and the pundits, between the pundits and those who follow them on Social Media and among the individuals on Social Media. This will be the first U.S. Presidential election in history that is being fought on Facebook and Twitter where anybody and everybody can put in his/her 2¢ in. I don't include the 2012 election of Obama because we had an incumbent and because even in that four short year period we have seen an exponential growth in this medium and its influence. And it has made me wonder "what's a Christian to do?"
We must first understand that the Democratic-Republic form of Government we enjoy in the United States was not even a germ of a kernel of a nugget of an idea even 300 years ago much less in Biblical times. So while the Bible does not say "thou shalt vote Republican/Democrat" that does not mean God wants us to ignore current events around us. We just have to dig deeper into God's word, which cannot be a bad thing. For if we are ignorant of events around us how can we fulfill God's instructions to pray for our leaders and our nation?
1 Timothy 2:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT)
Instructions about Worship
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
Jeremiah 29:7 New King James Version (NKJV)
And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.
After all it is through our prayers to God that we communicate so many things. Our love for our God, the desires of our hearts and above all else our trust in His Judgments and His plan for us. Both as individuals and as a nation. Because God does listen and He does grant those prayers, sometimes even if it is to our detriment. We can start with a look at the work of God vis a vis the desires of His Children. When the Elders came to Samuel to ask for a King to rule them because Samuel's sons were corrupt officials (sound familiar?) Samuel prayed and the Lord granted the request of the people. [1 Samuel 8:1-7] God even warned the people what would happen to the people, the type of Kings that would rule over them and cause a fair amount of misery. [1 Samuel 8:9-10] The King would conscript their sons and daughters into his service, he would demand a part of their food (crops and livestock) to provide for his table and his needs. [1 Samuel 8:11-18] Of course, humans being humans thought they knew best and wanted to be more like the pagan nations around them. So God gave them what they had asked for and gave them Saul as the first King of Israel. If you know that story you know it went well at first and then....well....it kind of fell apart. It always seems to me from reading the Old Testament that there were many more evil Kings than there were Godly Kings. I guess that comes from humans thinking they know more and better than their Creator. In fact, the Northern Kingdom (Israel) never had a God-fearing King while the Southern Kingdom (Judah) managed a very few. From roughly 933 B.C. through 586 B.C. a span of nearly 350 years the Southern Kingdom had eight Kings who, for the most part, followed God and did what was good in His sight. Eight. In three and a half centuries. Take a moment to wrap your head around that little factoid.
Now, back to America and its parallel situation. From the founding of this country through the mid 20th Century God was at the forefront of our way of life. To be sure, not all the Founding Fathers were Christians nor even what we could call "good" men. But, by and large, God and His Son Jesus Christ featured prominently in guiding our nation to the status of being the most prosperous country on the planet. Arguably in all of history. We had good Leadership, we had poor Leadership and at times we even had great Leadership. But over the past half century or so the morals of our Leadership decayed. Our string of Presidents Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan-Bush the 1st-Clinton-Bush the 2nd-Obama have not been a stellar bunch by and large. Reagan accomplished a great deal for our country and the world. If Clinton hadn't led with his penis I think his legacy would be much brighter than it is. There were definite bright spots in the administration of William Jefferson Clinton. Unfortunately, what is remembered most is the spot on a young girl's blue dress. Even as much as certain segments of society might disagree with this, the downfall started when we began removing God from the American way of life. Now, under Obama, God and Christians are much maligned and Satan has gotten a very strong foothold on America. From the millions of lives "legally" obliterated while still in the womb to the forced acceptance of calling a homosexual union as a "marriage" to "Leadership" driving a wedge of hate between the black and white populations of America to the Leadership both secular and of the Church demanding we view the hateful religion of Islam and their false god Allah as co-equal to Jesus and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob we are being driven away from a Godly path. Away from the path of prosperity God promises His followers.
Make no mistake, the next President of the United States of America will be chosen by God. Maybe to chastise us further for our rejection of Him and His Ordinances, maybe to bring us as a nation closer to Him and back to prosperity. Maybe as another stepping stone along the path of these Final Days. I believe God has shown us that there are people devoted to Him that want to lead our nation by bringing Dr. Ben Carson into the national discussion, take that for what it's worth. In any case, while we should be discussing the benefits/pitfalls of The Donald vs Cruz vs Rubio vs Clinton vs Sanders we need to do so in a prayerful manner; remembering that God will choose the person He desires to serve His purposes. Which takes me back to my oh so witty opening line, God Trumps Them All.