They are off and running. Hillary Clinton. Rand Paul. Mark Rubio. Jeb Bush. And many more names to come. Which if any of the current lot will become our next President? Only God knows.
God knows because he decides such things. As much as he also decides the movements of the smallest particles of matter that make up every living and nonliving thing in the universe.
God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. He tells us so. And while we cannot begin to fathom the mind of the only being that has ever occupied eternity, he has graciously revealed some of this thinking that we can understand.
God draws up the boundaries of nations. He places rulers over the nations he creates. Sometimes he blesses nations and people. Other times he punishes. Curses. Afflicts.
Acts of God always get attention. Those are the things that insurance companies always have in small print. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Mudslides.
Alongside of acts of God, insurance companies sometimes mention that they don’t pay for acts of war, as though somehow God isn’t involved in war.
Men don’t understand the absolute sovereignty of God in such things as war and elections. Much less the falling out of each hair on their heads. He’s as much involved in the greatest war as he is the most minor case of baldness.
That being so, why is it that Christians get their shorts in a bunch over elections? Every time a political season approaches, the conservative types begin to fret and work to elect someone that they think will turn things around. Or at least not muck up things all the more.
The strategy is not working. Electing men who mention that they have personal relationship with Jesus Christ does not seem to have given us leaders that act like it. They borrow and spend, increase tyranny, and go to war as much as those that don’t speak about their religious beliefs.
Don’t expect for Christian voters to figure this out until they figure out their theology. The sovereignty of God. The fact that he is thrice holy. The reality that he hates those that rebel against his character. And that every human and nation on this planet qualifies as the worst of rebels.
Martin Luther, writing about Christians and war, advised that the first priority that any nation should have when faced with a potential war is to repent before God and seek his mercy. There is no question of being a nation that needs mercy. All nations are dreadfully sinful and deserve his immediate wrath. We are blessed that he does not exact it as often as we deserve it.
Perspective. If we understand God’s perspective, things in this kingdom begin to make a bit more sense.
First, there are no Christian nations in this kingdom. There is indeed a Christian nation. One. Eternal. It is the Church. God’s ambassadors to this ailing creation. And it will prevail in the delivery of the Gospel and the making of disciples until that day when God determines that he has gathered all that he has chosen to gather and destroys this creation on a day of well-deserved punishment.
God’s ideal of a just government does not require that it is a modern, socialist democracy, or any other sort of governance. He demands justice. So how is America score in the area of justice?
The US, while only having 5% of the population on this planet houses 25% of known prisoners. We put people into jail for smoking an herb. For catching too many fish. For shooting the wrong kind of animal while hunting. For whistle-blowing about government wrongs.
Our police seize property without any court action and keep it. Just because having such property is suspicious and might be linked to crime. But that’s a minor injustice compared with the mass seizure of property that occurs through unjust taxation of income and personal property on a daily basis.
Our leaders have developed a foreign policy of perpetual warfare, delicately called nation building. We oust foreign leaders we don’t like by imposing painful economic sanctions on their common citizens, in hope that it will foment unrest. If that doesn’t work, we fund revolutions or conveniently arrange an assassination. That failed, it’s time for bombing, and finally, boots on the ground.
Even the worst of nations likes to think, “God is with us.” I can’t remember an important political speech that didn’t include “God bless America” in closing.
As the elections approach and final cadre of candidates is established, perhaps the most important thing to do is not to vote, but to pray. Pray for God’s mercy on a nation of sinners. Pray that God would bring us to our knees, guide the hearts of our leaders, and spare us from the judgement that we deserve.
God is full of mercy. He has shown that he is willing to turn his wrath from nations most deserving of judgement. Perhaps our leaders can start by sparing us the “God bless America” and ending with “May God grant us a spirit of repentance, humble us before him, and have mercy upon us.“ It worked for Nineveh.