God's Will in the 2016 US Election
By Kathleen Peck
Many believers are distraught with President Obama's policy making, and fear another democratic candidate would continue leading the country in an undesirable direction. Each party is once again claiming they have the right candidate for the next four years, something we hear repeatedly before every presidential election.
For those believers who are currently fearful or convinced all is lost in our country, we must pose the question...who puts presidents in power? If we believe God is sovereign and He rules over ALL the affairs of men in this world then our answer must be: God Himself put Mr. Obama in office. As difficult as that may be for some to accept, there is no alternative. God has ordained the current and every preceding president for His own reasons.
We're then left to ponder the question of what exactly is God doing through those He puts in power?
We can only speculate but some have said Mr. Obama is an instrument of God's judgment to an unruly and hedonistic nation. Myriads of theories have been proposed and discussed, but no one person or group of persons will have a definitive answer to this question.
The fact is, Scripture reveals God often uses wicked men to awaken, humble and purify selfish, complacent hearts, sin hardened hearts.
Remember what God said to Solomon in regards to how he would be disciplined when he sinned against God. Second Samuel 7:14 says, "When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men." There's no mistaking here that Solomon and his successors were going to be dealing with enemies that God Himself would raise up in order to punish disloyalty and order them aright. See also 1 Kings 11:14, 23, 26, 31, 39; 12:15
Although the United States is not Israel or its equivalent and is not a theocracy as Israel was designed to be, is it altogether impossible to consider that God would use the scourge of rulers to subdue a people as He sees fit? Isn't there some remote possibility that God Himself at this very time may turn the tide in America against our personal and collective freedoms? Isn't it possible that we as Christians can become so caught up in our own personal vision for our country's political future and carving out a personal utopia here that we lose sight of God's priorities for His church?
As believers, we like to think we know who will make the best president, but the truth is we have no idea what God has decreed for the future of America. The church ought not to be following the world in their hatred of any particular candidate but should be praying and seeking that God's will would be accomplished in the manner He so chooses and through whomever He chooses. We need to readily admit our ignorance here!
Yes, we should vote both knowledgeably and prayerfully for who we ascertain to be the candidate most appropriate for such an important office, but if or when God gives our country otherwise, our trust and confidence remains fixed on our Sovereign God who is orchestrating all things for His glory and the purity and holiness of His church.
The Scriptures are not silent but address this issue of harsh or unjust political leaders and there is no shortage of biblical examples believers would consider evil.
The famous Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II is historically known as the despicable, inhumane leader who cruelly mistreated and enslaved the Hebrews. God could have sent someone to free His chosen people much earlier than He did, but instead allowed their enslavement to continue four hundred years. The Apostle Paul in the book of Romans revealed this about the great Pharaoh Ramses: "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth" (Romans 9:17). How amazing that this mighty and royal pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty in ancient Egypt was created by God and raised up for what the Apostle Paul later called "dishonorable use" that God might display His power through him.
Did Jeremiah or Daniel curse, criticize or attack King Nebuchadnezzar? No. Jeremiah fully understood Nebuchadnezzar's role as the man God selected to fulfill the prophecies of judgment against Israel. Surely the prophets and Israelites themselves had good reason to be furious with such a proud king who was destroying their land, tearing away their liberties and prosperity and interrupting their religious system of worship. Yet didn't God raise this pagan up to take Israel captive and fulfill His purposes of judgment for the rebellious covenant breaking nation of Israel?
Pontius Pilate was a cold and calculating politician who was clearly driven by political expediency, yet Jesus said of him, "You would have no authority over me unless it had been given to you from above." Here we clearly witness Jesus announcing that His Father in heaven was the source of Pilate's power to rule in Israel — even greater, the One who gave Pilate the power and authority to order the beating and crucifixion of God's only Son.
At this point it's important to note that Scripture teaches that although God uses evil rulers to afflict His people and they are fulfilling God's purposes they also bore the full responsibility of their actions and as such incurred divine judgement (Jeremiah 25:12).
Paul the Apostle told us to pray for those in authority with our sights set on a particular objective — "that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." Notice Paul doesn't state we ought to pray for world peace? Can we live such lives of godliness and holiness without peace and quiet, should we become politically oppressed, discriminated against, imprisoned, marginalized, over taxed and governed by corrupt magistrates and politicians? The answer is an overwhelming Yes because those are the very circumstances Christianity thrived in, even exploded under in the first century. The early church in the midst of great persecution demonstrated that godly and holy living did and will continue to flourish, even when peace and religious freedoms are withheld.
Let us remind ourselves that our restricted insights pale in comparison to the all-knowing, all wise God who sees the end from the beginning. His grandiose purposes are much higher than our aspirations for lower taxes, a thriving economy and the right to collect social security when we retire.
None of those things are evil but God's highest goal is the building of His church and His own glory and the sanctification of His people and He knows best how to achieve those goals.
Our real home is in heaven, that great and lasting city whose builder and maker is God. Until we arrive there, we should expect to be governed by imperfect sinful men whom God wisely employs to manifest His divine will and providence in the earth. Let us trust our great God with appointing princes, prime ministers and presidents to that end, for to Him belong all the kingdoms, the power and all the glory, forever and ever, Amen!
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Controversial-Issues | Current-Issues | God-Father | Hardships | Political-Issues
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