Election Reflections

Here are a few things to remember regardless of whether or not the presidential election went the way you thought it should.

First, the outcome is not the absolute disaster that many people think it is. God remains sovereign over all the affairs of men, even of powerful political figures. “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will” (Prov. 21:1). God is able to prevent whatever evil or whatever folly a leader may intend to do. “He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success” (Job 5:12). And even that evil and folly which he permits them to achieve, he is able to turn to the good (Gen. 50:20).

Second, the outcome is not the unrivalled blessing that others imagine it to be. Politicians are notoriously pitiful saviors. The best of them too often leave behind a trail of broken promises, dashed hopes, unfulfilled expectations, and betrayed trusts. To build one’s hopes on getting the “right” man in office is like building a castle on a foundation of sand. “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes” (Ps. 118:9).

Third, it is God who gave us the results of the election. “Not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another” (Ps. 75:6-7). This may seem a bitter pill to swallow, but the Scriptures are emphatic on this point. “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever…He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings” (Dan. 2:20).

Some will foolishly conclude from this that whoever is elected is elected because he has God’s approval. After all, why else would God elevate him? But this isn’t necessarily so. God blesses a good people with good and wise rulers; and he curses a disobedient people with foolish and wicked rulers. God not only raised up David to be a blessing to his people (Acts 13:22), but he also raised up Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar to chasten and afflict them (see Ex. 9:16 and Jer. 25:8-9).

Fourth, the Lord requires governing officials to bow in submission before him and to serve his Son. “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way” (Ps. 2:10-12). Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the ruler of the kings of the earth (Rev. 19:16; 1:5). All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him (Matt. 28:18). Any measure of authority which any human being has, he has on loan from him—and must answer to him.

Fifth, any return of our nation’s government to its biblical foundations will be the result of a moral and spiritual revival, and not the cause of it. In other words, the kingdom of God is not advanced by the exercise of raw political power. This is not to say that politics is unimportant or that the Christian faith is not concerned with good government. On the contrary, government has to do with the administration of justice, which is something every Christian ought to be concerned about (Deut. 16:18-20; Amos 15:5; Hab. 1:4). My point is, the kingdom of God advances from the bottom up, not from the top down. In a republic such as ours, godly rulers are a reflection of a godly people.

Finally, though there have been varying degrees to which different administrations have conformed to the reign of Jesus Christ, the Scriptures teach us to look forward to a time when all the nations will bow before him (Ps. 22:27-28; Dan. 7:13-14; Phil. 2:9-11).


Anonymous said…
Well said, Doug. There are so many misconceptions about what this new administration will mean for the American people. It really is comforting to know that God is in control, and it is humbling to realize that we have the burden of returning our nation to Godly roots in order to have a truly Godly government.

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