Monday, October 27, 2008

Uneasy Election Years

Election years are a decidedly uneasy time for a lot of people. Anyone who feels passionate about anything is likely to be concerned about which candidates get into office or which party gets control of what aspect of government. This is especially true during worrisome economic times as the public looks to the candidates for what they will do to help out the average family.

Christians have a duty to participate in these things as well. In calling us salt and light, Christ has indicated that we are to be out in the world flavoring it so to speak. Our Christian worldview should permeate our entire lives leaving nothing which is unaffected by it. We do not participate in these activities with an attitude of hoping beyond hope that chance might seem to favor our cause; we do it knowing that our heavenly Father is ultimately in charge of everything that happens. Ultimately everything works out for good unto those who love the Lord as Paul says in Romans. Don't be mistaken though; everything does not work out well for everyone. As the wrath of God abides on the wicked, so it will be ill with the unrighteous.
Isaiah 3:10 “ Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, For they shall eat the fruit of their doings. 11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, For the reward of his hands shall be given him.

One of the most basic truths of Christianity is that God reigns supremely. The popular ideas today that portray God as just fervently hoping and wishing in heaven that things will go His way on the earth just don't correspond with reality. These ideas rob God of His power (in our minds) and consequently His people of a great comfort. Nebuchadnezzar thought that way once. As the King of one of the most powerful empires of that time, who, from an earthly prospective, could have suggested otherwise?
Daniel 4:28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”
God rendered judgment on this idea:
Daniel 4:31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”
This judgment is not unique to Nebuchadnezzar either. Consider
Psalm 2:10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

This doctrine rightly generates both fear and comfort. To those who rule harshly and oppress the people of God, it is an extreme horror. "He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." When their allotted time (and make no mistake, it is limited) is over, they will have to give an account to their King, the Son of God. So as this election season comes and goes and the news in the paper and on TV never seems good, remember, your heavenly Father still sits on the throne. That is the appropriate focus for our hope.
Isaiah 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. 11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.



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