Last Tuesday night, I watched waaaaaay too much of the election coverage. I’m pretty sure I should’ve gone to bed much earlier than I did. But it captivated me, really. I’ve always been fond of the election process. Not many countries in this beautiful world have the opportunity – the privilege – to choose for themselves the ones who will represent them in their government. And of all those countries who do have this privilege the United States of America is the pioneer. What a concept – a democratic electoral process in a constitutional republic. Amazing.
I’ve been hearing all kinds of things about this election. How it has sent an undeniable “message” to the current leadership of our great country. Even from his own mouth, President Obama has admitted that the American people, through this electoral process, have sent him a firm message. The exact nature of that message, and how that message should affect political strategy are up for debate – but one thing is admitted of all sides… that a message has indeed been sent. How amazing is that? That a message of political and governmental nature can be sent to one person, or a small group of people, from 300 million Americans?
Along with all the talk about what this “means” and how it is going to affect policy and strategy in the coming months and years has come some rather disturbing utterances from my fellow Christians. I’m beginning to get the feeling that we really believe a political party (one or the other) is going to be the salvation of our country. I’ve got news for you, Christian brother or sister – it’s not. While economic policy and political purity is important for many reasons, and while it has the potential to prod a people in a positive direction, it cannot and will not even come close to addressing the deepest need of our country – the individual salvation of souls.
I’m praying that we don’t, spiritually speaking, sit back on our haunches (donkeys’ or elephants’) and wait for the government to “fix our problem(s).” A common biblical theme, throughout Old Testament and New, is that the greatest blessings – individually, corporately, and societally – will come when God’s people are obedient to His Word, and are mobilized for His cause.
Here, Moses is speaking to the Israelites about being careful to obey God’s commands so that they may receive blessing. Of course, we all know what happened. They Israelites did indeed “turn aside from the path” (Jer. 2: 17) in disobedience to God. I could be speculating here, but I’m sure the Israelites believed the priests, Levites, and national leaders (judges, lawmakers, and kings) were the focus of this warning. Surely God was issuing this statement to the politicians and governmental authorities. After all, THEY’RE the ones who need to be righteous, and careful to follow all of God’s commands. If THEY will do that, then surely God will bless the nation.
Yes, I’m being facetious. God’s desire was, and still is, that obedience and devotion to Him and His Truth be central in the life of every one of His children. In this Old Testament passage, the blessing the nation will experience is directly correlated with individual obedience and consecration. If we want to be blessed as a nation, Christians must focus their energy on being obedient to God. He’s called us to speak Truth in a truth-decayed world. He’s called us to bear witness to His glory and His salvation to the ends of the earth. He’s called us to depend upon Him for all that we need as individuals and as a nation. He is our Hope. He is our Salvation. He is our God. And no politician, political party, or elected chamber can bring what He alone is capable of bringing – blessing.
We must vote. No doubt about it. And we must consider Biblical morality and ethicality when voting – they should guide us in our electoral decisions. But elections and political parties are not what will save this country. They are not what will bless this country. I’ve seen more on FaceBook, and heard more in person over the past few days (even in church) about politicians and parties than I have about the saving grace of Almighty God. Christian friend, let’s keep “Number One” number one.
Grace and Peace,