Monday, November 10, 2008

God's Will and Presidential Elections

The message yesterday was based on James 4:11-17. In that context I shared that we are often fooled by thinking we have enough information to condemn another (ie. "stop passing judgment on each other") and by thinking we control our destinies (ie. presuming upon the future.)

In the context of presuming on the future I made a statement that raised a few questions. I said that "it was God's will that Sen. Obama become President Elect Obama." Now...why would a Nascar loving, God-fearing, unborn baby defending, conservative Christian make such a statement?

It seems to me that the Bible teaches that all those who rise to power do so with at least the permission of God's will, if not that active participation of God. So whether you opt for God's permissive will or God's active will, it was God's will at work.

I think, for example, of passages like Isaiah 40:23 that says:
"He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing." If God is able to do that to princes / rulers in power, it is no small leap to believe he can prevent people from acquiring power.

Further, Isaiah 41:2-4 says:

"Who has stirred up one from the east,
calling him in righteousness to his service?
He hands nations over to him
and subdues kings before him.
He turns them to dust with his sword,
to windblown chaff with his bow.
He pursues them and moves on unscathed,
by a path his feet have not traveled before.
Who has done this and carried it through,
calling forth the generations from the beginning?
I, the LORD -with the first of them
and with the last—I am he."

This is a passage talking about God raising up a king frm the east to bring judgment on his people. But, God ends up by taking the responsibility for the king's rise to power.
Another passage is John 19:8-11. There, we find this exchange between Jesus and Pilate:

"When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9and he went back inside the palace. "Where do you come from?" he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" 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.""

In this context, Jesus states that the power Pilate has (as a political leader) has come from God.
Based on these texts, it seems clear to me that the rise (and fall) from political power is within God's sovereign control. In other words, no ruler comes to power apart from God, in some way, putting him (or her) there. So while I do not like many of President-elect Obama's policies - indeed I find very few of them to be morally or biblically acceptable (i.e. stem cell research, abortion rights, homosexual marriage, et al) - God has a purpose in him being in office.

As followers of Christ I urge you to pray daily for our president.
Pray for God to give him wisdom and guidance.
Pray for him to resist the urge to listen to those who would lead our nation down the wrong path.
Pray for God to place wise counselors in his path.
Pray for his safety and health. He is our President and I can think of nothing worse than harm or illness befalling him.
Pray for his wife, Michelle, and their daughters, that they would not be overwhelmed by "life in a fishbowl" that is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

I ask God's blessing on he and his family and urge you to do the same - regardless of your political affiliation.

For a great blog on what people are really thirsting for in this election, visit Mark Driscoll's blog at http://theresurgence.com/in_god_we_do_not_trust.

1 comment:

Pastor Rob Pochek said...

This comes from the blog at www.albertmohler.com...it is in the context of asking whether we can question God. I thougth the point applied well to the issue of God's will and elections:
"Beginning with the biblical affirmation that God is omnipotent and omniscient, sovereign and ever-reigning, we start with the understanding that whatever comes to pass does so by the express command, ordination, or permission of the Father. Thus, the Creator is at all times responsible for his creation -- and for his creatures."