The Election & God's Sovereignty – Part II

In my last blog on the election we talked about Obama being identified as a savior and we looked at some verses regarding God’s ideal ruler. I’d like to continue with the next two verses in 2 Samuel 23 as David describes how people will be blessed if they have the kind of ruler God described…

And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
Like the tender grass springing out of the earth,
By clear shining after rain.’

David compares the rule of a righteous king to two things: the benefits of sunlight and the fertilizing effects of rain. The idea is as sunlight and rain help grass grow, so also the righteous rule of a king causes his people to flourish.

For most conservative Christians, not only do they feel like they don’t have a president that meets those qualifications, they probably feel like they didn’t even have a candidate to vote for that met those qualifications. This will remain the case and here’s why: no human ruler will meet God’s expectation. Look at David’s next words…

5a “Although my house is not so with God.

This was very, very humble of David. He isn’t saying he didn’t live up to the standard set by God – which of course he didn’t – he’s saying [his entire] house didn’t live up to that standard and if you’re familiar with 2 Samuel you know why he’d say this. Following David’s sins with Bathsheba and Uriah, his house was plagued with murder, rebellion, and betrayal from his own children. It’s actually had to imagine another king’s house facing as many problems as David’s house.

Here’s the really interesting thing though: David failed to live up to God’s standard, and he WAS THE STANDARD for all other kings. Throughout 1 and 2 Kings, every ruler is compared to David and receives a passing grade if he’s like David and a failing grade if he’s not like David. If David was the very best, and he recognized he failed, do we really think anyone else will be close? That means we’ll never have a candidate we can look at and say, “He is just and he will rule in the fear of God (v. 3). He’ll probably be our savior!”

So does this mean there will never be a just king that rules in the fear of God? Fortunately, no that’s not what it means. There’s another King coming that will be God’s ideal King. He will meet God’s perfect standard and that’s Jesus. These verses ultimately have their fulfillment in Him. We should fulfill our civic duty and vote for the individual that most resembles God’s ideal ruler, but we need to keep something else in mind. Nobody will be God’s ideal ruler until Jesus Christ returns and reigns. He will rule in righteousness and justice.

In my next blog we’ll consider what all this has to do with God’s sovereignty.

The Election & God's Sovereignty – Part I

Four years ago when President Obama was first elected, people were using the word “savior.” Attaching that word to a man makes me cringe. Four years later something bittersweet has happened…

The bitterness is our nation isn’t much better – or some would argue, not at all better – than it was four years ago: still wars, still high unemployment, still high deficits, and the list could go on.

The sweetness is hopefully some people have learned not to put their faith in man.

When the Assyrians were attacking the Jews, the Jews were tempted to put their faith and trust in Egypt and the Assyrians said, “Why are you trusting in Egypt? They’re like a broken staff that if you lean on will snap and cut into your hand. That’s what Pharaoh’s going to be like for all who trust in him.”  (Isa 36:6). The Assyrians were ungodly pagans, but they hit a homerun with this statement. What they said to the Jews about Egypt and Pharaoh is exactly what should be said to people who put their faith in Obama or any man for that matter.

This isn’t supposed to be a criticism of Obama that implies someone else would’ve fixed all our problems. David’s last words are contained in 2 Samuel 23:1-7. In verse 3 he describes God ideal ruler, and interestingly even though you might expect a lengthy description, there are only two qualifications…

3b ‘He who rules over men must be just,

This is the first quality for ideal rulers: they must be just, which means lawful or righteous. Of the 206 times it’s used, 162 times it’s translated as righteous and 42 times it’s translated as just.

3c Ruling in the fear of God.

Here’s the second quality to look for in rulers: they rule in the fear of God. It doesn’t just say they fear God, it says they rule in the fear of God, which means when they rule, their decisions are motivated by a fear of God. They have that constant awareness that someday they’re going to stand before Him and give an account of their leadership.

Contained in these words is the idea they don’t fear man. You can’t do both. They’re mutually exclusive. If you fear God, you don’t fear man. If you fear man, you don’t fear God. It’s a fear of man that makes rulers withhold justice, but a fear of God motivates them to do what’s right.

I thought this was fitting consider we just elected a new president. I would say instead of looking for these to qualities, most people’s votes are guided by:

  • Who will do the most for me?
  • Who will give me the most?
  • Some people might be guided by nobler questions like:
    • Who’s going to improve the economy?
    • Who’s going to create jobs?
    • Who’s going to end wars?

But when we vote, whether it’s for the president, the governor, the mayor or any other office, our votes should be guided by two questions:

  1. Which candidate is just?
  2. Which candidate will rule in the fear of God?

We’ll continue these thoughts in my next blog…