God’s Sovereignty, Our Efforts and the November Election

The attack ads are coming at us. They are nasty, verbal tsunamis. They are everywhere and in great numbers. One political office-seeker throws as much mud as is possible in 30 seconds, or maybe on a single billboard. Their opponent returns the favor. This, of course, informs us that an election must not be too far off. Few present any positive solutions, so they resort to character assassination. Perhaps you are weary of this as I am, and would like to vacation in West Pango Pango for the next two months.  (By the way, things are not much different in West Pango Pango). But that time away would not solve anything. We who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ might consider approaching the coming elections with these 6 points in mind.

(1) God is sovereign over all things, including elections. When evil people gain positions of power or when there are questions about the legitimacy of an election, it is difficult for us to understand Daniel’s statement, where he said: “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. As it is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and sets up kings…” (Dan. 2:21-22). Nothing is outside of the control of the Sovereign of the universe, including elections. Man’s evil manipulations, deceit, lying and violent rage against Him and His standards only elicits laughter from the heavens (Psa. 2:4). The Great Creator is simply not intimidated nor impressed with the boastful beating of the chest by humans. We, however, often find it hard to figure out what God is doing in allowing some things to take place and some people to be in the places of power. But believers throughout all of history have learned that they simply must trust the all-knowing and all-powerful God. He knows everything actual and possible, and there is no force or combination of forces that can thwart His will from being accomplished on earth. That applies to this election as well. This biblical truth might make it seem that the subject is settled and we are to just sit back, or maybe take that vacation in West Pango Pango. But there is more.

(2) Prayer is vital in God’s working in the realm of mankind. Probably everyone reading this article believes that prayer is important, but it is also likely that no one reading this article really understands how the sovereign God factors prayer into His plans. But having said that, the Bible again and again records that a person praying brought about a response from the Lord. Remember when the brutal Assyrian army had surrounded Jerusalem and godly King Hezekiah fervently prayed for God to intervene? God did. Through Isaiah the prophet, God said to the king: “Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria…” I will judge him in a powerful way (Isa. 37:12-29). Sounds like prayer made a difference. And then there was the time when Daniel was passionately praying about God fulfilling His promise to return His people back to their land. The angel Gabriel was sent to Daniel and informed him that the moment Daniel began to pray, Gabriel was dispatched from God to Daniel with the answer (Dan. 9:23). Many times, the early church witnessed the response of God to prayer. Facing persecution, they prayed. “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). Again and again in the Scriptures, individuals and groups sought the Lord and He intervened. And since God has not changed, the challenge before us is to seek for the Lord’s intervention. The polls and the pundits don’t dictate what is going to take place. He has responded to prayer in the past, and He certainly can do it in November. We apparently can have a role in this.

(3) Righteousness still elevates a nation.  The truth of Proverbs 14:34 remains in force today. It states, “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” America needs an infusion of righteousness.  So, we should seek those who best would promote programs, policies and laws that reflect biblical principles. This might take some research on our part, since in this culture righteousness might be more difficult to find. We seem to be facing so much that is false and deceptive, and increasingly good is said to be evil, and evil is said to be good. However, some politicians and propositions are closer to biblical truth than others. And if we can, we need to support those.

(4) We hold dual citizenship. Most of us are citizens of the United States of America. And there have been many blessings which are ours because of that fact. But we are also citizens of heaven. The Apostle Paul, who was a Roman citizen, said that “our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). There was some value for him in his Roman citizenship, but much greater value in his being a citizen of heaven. Our time as citizens of the United States is limited to decades, but our heavenly citizenship is something that is eternal. So, while we are to be the best American citizens we can be, we must remember that we are ambassadors from the kingdom of King Jesus. Our highest loyalty and service is to be for Him. And since we are still here, our primary task is to be carrying out His wishes, whatever they may be. This truth helps us keep a proper perspective in our loyalties, and in our elections.

(5) We should remember the “Josiah Effect”.   I have spent time recently in the books of 1 and 2 Kings. There are many spiritual principles and illustrations that emerge from those historical books. What caught my attention was the reign of Manasseh (2 Kings 21). During Israel’s 450-year monarch period, 43 kings ruled. And of all those kings, Manasseh is said to be the wickedest of all. He was an incredibly evil king who sacrificed his own sons to a foreign god; who set up idols in the holy Jerusalem temple; who was deep into the occult; and who slaughtered the righteous people of Jerusalem. God declared that he was even more wicked than the dynamic evil duo of Ahab and Jezebel. His evil was greater than the Canaanites that occupied the land prior to Israel’s arrival. Because of this extreme level of wickedness, God pronounced irreversible judgment of Judah. Terrible judgment was coming because of his evil. God does take His rules seriously. But then, amazing as it might seem, into that situation of utter depravity came a new king by the name of Josiah (2 Kings 22 and 23). Josiah loved the Lord, humbled Himself before the Lord and sought to live according to God’s standards. Because of Josiah, God put judgment “on hold.”  As long as Josiah was alive, judgment would not come on Judah. This kind of “adjustment” by God can be observed a number of times in the Old Testament, as 2 Chronicles 7:14 declared it would. America is not Israel, and God has no covenant relationship with America. But the USA is looking more and more like the days of Manasseh. However, it does seem that God delights in making these “adjustments.” I do not pretend to know what God might do in response to believers being like Josiah. Remember that God was willing to spare wicked Sodom if just 10 righteous people still existed in that city (Gen. 18:22-33). If God did make an “adjustment,” I think it would be so that we could have time to become more intentional in the way we live as Christian, and not so that we could vacation in West Pango Pango.

(6) God has future plans for mankind which will be fulfilled.  The Book of Revelation, along with many more prophetic portions leave no doubt that God has some very detailed plans and purposes for mankind and for this planet. And since He is Sovereign, these will take place. It is never a question of “if,” but “when.” For example, before the millennial kingdom of Jesus is established on this earth, certain things will take place. One of those is the establishment of a global government, ruled over by the Antichrist. Globalism is eventually going to come. However, globalism is also going to lead to God’s plans coming to fruition. God will use it to do His great work of saving the people of Israel, which is the primary purpose of the coming Tribulation period. God has committed Himself to saving Israel as well as millions of gentiles, and He will use the coming evil to do so. The great miracles and judgments of that period will tear off the spiritual blindfold on Israel and will also awaken millions of slumbering gentiles to ultimate realities. But to do all of this, there will be a dramatic change in this world which will include the rise of incredibly evil leaders and their diabolical plans of world domination. This is going to take place. The location on the calendar is not known.

So, as the tsunami of attack ads roll over us, we are not to languish in despair and helplessness. That laughing you hear comes from heaven. And the Great King would have us keep these and other theological truths in mind. We are here and we have work to do. As a person thinks, so they are. Think biblically as you face the November elections.