Sometime during the next 12 hours, the winner of the presidential election will be announced. Half the country will be delighted, the other half disconsolate — this is a consequence of living in a country divided.
The two candidates are radically different in vision and temperament, and their rule will have a significant impact on the future of our nation. Consequently, the voting public is engaged and fiercely partisan. Everybody has their ‘guy’ and lives with the hope that he will be given power to rectify our many woes. I know, it’s an absurd pipedream, but we seem determined to hang onto our unreasonable expectations.
If tomorrow dawns and “our guy” has failed to win, we will be tempted to despair. Convinced that “their guy” is going to ruin everything, we will look ahead into the future with long faces and timid hearts. Because, with power in his hands, the world becomes a very dangerous place! And it just may be, but that isn’t reason to fear. Regardless of who wins, God’s man has the presidency.
This endorsement sounds bizarre coming from an evangelical pastor, particularly since neither candidate adheres to orthodox Christian belief. But the president’s faith is immaterial — regardless of his convictions, he is the servant of the Almighty.
The ideal leader in the Old Testament is unquestionably David. The man after God’s heart (the leader God had in mind from the beginning) was the means by which God rescued his people. “By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and from the hand of all their enemies.” (2 Samuel 3:18, ESV) Yes, he was a fallible man with dangerous appetites, but in the overall balance he was a good man and a great leader. He would get my vote, but that matters little since it was God who elected him to his position of power.
If David was Jerusalem’s salvation then Nebuchadnezzar was its destruction. The Babylonian king was cruel and arrogant, and with heartless efficiency he destroyed David’s city in 587 BC. Content only when the temple was a smoking ruin, Nebuchadnezzar was the enemy of righteousness. He certainly would not get my vote, but that matters little since it was God who elected him to his position of power. ““It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me. Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him.” (Jeremiah 27:5–6, ESV)
Did you notice that both David and Nebuchadnezzar are called servants of the Lord? God granted them power for his purposes. David was chosen to rescue God’s people, while Nebuchadnezzar was chosen to judge them. Both men played a role in God’s work of purifying his people. They were men of power in the palm of the Almighty.
Whoever wins today’s election will take their place alongside these two. Elected by God for his purposes, our president will be the servant of the Lord. I would rather live under the reign of David than that of Nebuchadnezzar, but in the end it matters little since I will always live under Jehovah’s reign. Regardless of the man in the Oval Office, our God rules from his heavenly throne.
And he is my Father!