On Friday, January 20th, a new president will be inaugurated, the 45th president of the United States of America. Following a long and bitter election cycle, this country doesn’t seem to be very “united” at the moment.
I rarely comment here about political matters. However, because this blog is about “Practical Christian Living,” I offer a perspective I’ve heard very little about from fellow Christians over the past two years.
There have been discussions, debates, speeches, arguments, vicious verbal attacks, physical attacks, hatred, lies, tears, depression, disbelief. None of that really surprises me. But the rhetoric of some Christians has. Perhaps they do not see the bigger picture.
I’m not talking about accepting the constitutional process of our republic. Regardless of the outcome of the recent presidential election, I would still be writing the same article. Many continue to stay focused on who won the election, with either exuberant shouts of victory, or disgusted and stunned disbelief.
There are those who call themselves Christians on both sides of the aisle. Some have displayed outright hatred for the President-elect, convinced the U.S. is headed for utter oblivion. Meanwhile, other Christians see the winner of this recent election as almost a God-sent savior for the United States.
Both sides miss the bigger picture!
If you are a fan of the Bible, and one would assume Christians are indeed fans, then there are a number of places you can read where God’s people were under the rule of some very bad leaders. In fact, in Jesus’ day, the Romans occupied the holy land, and Herod was the Judean king. And yet, Jesus didn’t really comment on that very corrupt and ungodly political situation.
Yes, he did once refer to Herod as a “fox,” and once responded to a question about taxes by saying, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” But his main focus was on teaching and healing people, not political battles.
There are a number of places in the Bible one can read and see godly people bringing godly counsel and wisdom to those in authority. The account of Mordecai and Esther is breathtaking and astounding! Their actions literally saved God’s people from being slaughtered and exterminated while in captivity under the rule of the Persians.
What about Daniel? He served in the government during the Babylonian captivity. His first boss was the pagan ruler, Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel also served in the government for King Belshazzar, King Darius, and King Cyrus.
The book of Daniel shows us that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in government positions at a very difficult time for God’s people. One can easily see the positive influence they had in their situation.
Are You Beginning To See The Bigger Picture?
What about Joseph? Because of his great trust in God, he saved the country of Egypt from certain disaster, and ended up second to the Pharaoh in the greatest country of his time. That resulted in saving his entire family from starvation.
Then of course there’s the teenaged shepherd boy named David. He got the “ear” of King Saul, and with God’s help, slayed Goliath.
There are other examples of godly wisdom reaching those in authority, resulting in good things for God’s people. And, of course there are examples of ungodly wisdom presented to those in charge, resulting in bad things for God’s people.
For those of us who are Christians, the bigger picture is to pray for our country for godly wisdom to prevail in all areas of government. It doesn’t matter where or who God’s wisdom comes from. It just matters that godly wisdom reaches the right people and then that those in responsible positions heed it!
Why, at this time of great division in our country, as we transition from one administration to another, are some Christians missing the bigger picture? The leaders of our country, those in authority, need our prayers.
Scriptures direct Christians to pray for those in positions of authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. That, my brothers and sisters, is what God said to do; that is the bigger picture.
Of course it’s better to have one elected to the highest office who has integrity, honesty, morals, and the best intentions for our our country. But it’s doubtful there will ever be an Apostle Paul equivalent elected as president of the United States. On the other hand, it is possible for someone very evil to fool every one and get elected.
There are those who saw this election as a choice between bad and worse. Some refused to vote. And to add to all the fracas, the media was left with egg on the face for its predictions.
But, again, regardless of whoever is elected, the bigger picture, for us as Christians, is to pray for those in authority. Pray for godly counsel to reach the ears it needs to, and that godly counsel is heeded.