22 Oct 2012
As our National election is approaching it appears that the Lord is attempting to provide an adjustment in our thinking related to a number of associated issues. On a national level we have noticed Tony Evans, Chip Ingram, and others each in slightly different ways helping believers to think biblically about our responsibilities regarding this election. Of course the determinations from this election are important. Some purport that this may be one of the most important elections in the history of this Nation.
However, our thinking as praying believers toward this election will be without question highly biased by our overall perspective regarding our national leaders in the context of spiritual matters. It is to this arena that the Lord seems to be calling my attention in recent days. In the context of this introduction please consider this scripture:
1 Samuel 12:12-18 (NASB77)
12 "When you saw that Nahash the king of the sons of Ammon came against you, you said to me, 'No, but a king shall reign over us,' although the LORD your God was your king.
13 "Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen, whom you have asked for, and behold, the LORD has set a king over you.
14 "If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God.
15 "And if you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the command of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
16 "Even now, take your stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes.
17 "Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call to the LORD, that He may send thunder and rain. Then you will know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the LORD by asking for yourselves a king."
18 So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
God was their King. But for them, God was not enough. They demanded to have a king like the other nations aroundthem. So God relented and gave them a king. But in the giving of this king, God was very clear that having a king was not the main thing. Verse 14 above outlines the key; the key is for the people to fear the Lord and serve Him and listen to His voice and not to rebel against the command of the Lord. God said that if the people would do the things He outlined, then God would see to it that both they and their king would follow the Lord their God. It seems particularly instructive that with the first king that God allowed for His people he gave them this clear instruction.
There is no doubt responsibility that falls to the king [leader]. However contrary to our normal thinking of cause and effect it seems clear that God has placed the greater responsibility on the people. He clearly states that if the people are in and stay in a right relationship with God then they and the King will also follow the Lord.
This brings us to a question we must address. Is there any thinking on my part or on your part that would endeavor to mentally shift our God assigned responsibility to seek and obey and follow God away from being our personal responsibility? Have we fully owned the truth that the current condition of our Nation is appreciably the collective responsibility of those of us who are individually called by His Name?
To describe this in another way, if every believer in Jesus Christ in this Nation would fear God and serve Him and listen to His voice and not rebel against the commands of the Lord, what would be the condition of our families, or our communities, or our Nation? What would be the spiritual condition of our leaders?
Of course we can control only our own choices. For example, only I can control how I report my taxes. I control how I pray. I am the only one in control of how I love and discipline my family members. Only I can control how I love my spouse. I alone control what I look at. My thoughts are mine alone to control. No one except me can control the extent of my seeking God. So what is the nature of our individual choices? Do they line up with the commands of God in the passage above?
God seems to give some additional insight regarding national leaders in the Isaiah 22. While we see clear instruction regarding potential faults of leaders, we can also inductively see a potential error of the people who are being lead.
Isaiah 22:15-25 (NASB77)
15 Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, "Come, go to this steward, To Shebna, who is in charge of the royal household,
16 'What right do you have here, And whom do you have here, That you have hewn a tomb for yourself here, You who hew a tomb on the height, You who carve a resting place for yourself in the rock?
17 'Behold, the LORD is about to hurl you headlong, O man. And He is about to grasp you firmly,
18 And roll you tightly like a ball, To be cast into a vast country; There you will die, And there your splendid chariots will be, You shame of your master's house.'
19 "And I will depose you from your office, And I will pull you down from your station.
20 "Then it will come about in that day, That I will summon My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah
21 And I will clothe him with your tunic, And tie your sash securely about him, I will entrust him with your authority, And he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
22 "Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, When he opens no one will shut, When he shuts no one will open.
23 "And I will drive him like a peg in a firm place, And he will become a throne of glory to his father's house.
24 "So they will hang on him all the glory of his father's house, offspring and issue, all the least of vessels, from bowls to all the jars.
25 "In that day," declares the LORD of hosts, "the peg driven in a firm place will give way; it will even break off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken."
This is an account of two leaders, two stewards of the Nation of Judah. The first, Shebna, is self-centered and using his office for personal glory. He was removed by God and in his place God installed Eliakim, God’s servant. But Eliakim had a subtle but very serious setback. He served the people, but his service caused him to become a throne of glory in his father’s house. Eliakim, through great leadership and service to the people, brought honor to himself. This passage implies that those whom Eliakin served began to look to him as their savior. He failed to point the people to God as their only source of blessing. Eliakim, this peg driven in a firm place, was destined to give way and even to be broken off, for we must not depend on men but on God, even if these men are kings, or chief stewards, or presidents.
It is our responsibility to vote. It is our responsibility to seek and obey our Lord. It is our responsibility to pray. In all things we must always clearly see God as our Father and provider and the sustainer of our person, our family, and our Nation. Perhaps the most significant contribution we can make for this Nation is to pray diligently for God to send revival.