Allow me to share some of my mental meanderings of the recent election.
For anyone who may be paying attention, I think it is clear that we are, and we have been for some time, living in a post-Christian culture. We are rather isolated here in West Michigan in our own little sub-culture, but our nation is operating less and less on Judeo -Christian values. I think the first step toward action and a steadfast heart of following after Jesus is realizing the environment we are placed in. It is not an easy place, but through history, hasn’t the church always grown deeper and stronger when marginalized and persecuted?
I think of the lamp in the Tabernacle and Solomons temple (Ex 25:31-40, 1 Kings 7:49). It was never allowed to go out, but it had to be replenished every day with fresh oil. In the same way our faith can only live by being sustained with the oil of grace. Our world is trying to find oil of living in a lot of different ways, but the oil we need for life can only be obtained from God himself. He who builds this world upholds it. We often forget that the Author of our faith must be the Preserver of it also.
Another thought stayed with me through the week. My temptation is to withdraw and cloister up but God said something different to the exiles in Babylon. Even though God’s people found themselves in a pagan society, God said, “build houses and settle down, plant gardens, and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters, find wives for your sons and give daughters in marriage. Increase in number and do not decrease. Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile” (Jeremiah 29:5ff). It reminded me that the battle belongs to the Lord and my call is to be faithful and seek the good of those around me.
Whatever you may think about politics and elections, government leaders and our culture, keep God’s sovereignty in mind. His control over all things helps to make sense out of what at times, seems to make no sense at all. “The kings heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord, He turns it wherever he wills” (Prov. 21:1). “The Lord rules over the nations” Psalm 22:28) Colossians 1:16-17 says, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things and in him all things hold together.”
Daniel 2;21 says, “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings.” This verse gives me so much confidence. When it comes from a historical narrative many years ago in a distant land, The same God who ruled over Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar and his bronze statues, and wicked Babylon, is the same God this morning in my life. He has never changed. His power, authority, and sovereignty have not lessened. And even though there is sin, and it is met with God’s judgment, there is also grace. God may withdraw his presence for a moment but he is always with us (Isaiah 54:7).
Anyway, that’s how I see it. – Pastor Pete