11 January 2012

God's Sovereignty in Politics

The Republican primaries are in full swing with Mitt Romney taking both Iowa and New Hampshire. Perhaps he is your candidate. Perhaps not. (If you are a Republican, he will be soon enough).  Maybe you do not care who wins because you are an Obama backer. Whatever the case, people can get really worked up about politics. It used to be every 4 years. Now it seems that every few months, people are getting hot under the collar when it comes to politics. 

On the one hand, I am glad to see people demonstrating more civic interest. It seems that we are finally coming out of a long period of apathy.  People are making their voices heard. On the other hand, as Christians, we need to have a biblically grounded perspective.

As I was reading this morning, two passages highlighted God's sovereignty in establishing rulers and kingdoms. As Daniel is again interpreting the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, he ultimately has to share some bad news with the king, essentially that he would lose his kingdom for a time. In Daniel 4:25, he says, "you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will."  Make sure you appreciate the end of the verse.  God rules the kingdoms of men and he gives those kingdoms to whom he will.  God oversees all governments.  He establishes all thrones by his sovereign hand. 

The second passage I read this morning was from Acts 4:27-28.  The gathered believers prayed, "for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place."  In this prayer, we learn that Herod and Pontius Pilate, who together approved the murder of Jesus, were predestined to their positions by the sovereign God of the universe.

Sometimes, when someone not to their liking is elected, I think Christians believe that God is in heaven shaking his head at our stupidity. I think Christians believe that God wishes we had chosen more wisely.  But God's sovereignty leaps from the pages of scripture from the beginning to the end.  Obama is president because God allowed him to be.  Romney won the first two primaries because God sovereignly ordained him to do so. Scott Walker is facing a recall election in Wisconsin because God permits it.  Whether he is recalled or not will ultimately be a part of God's sovereign design. 

So as Christians, we should get out and vote. God ordained that process too.  We should speak passionately about the issues, ideally grounding them in biblical authority. But we must recognize that God is ultimately in control not only of the final outcome, but the details as well.

Daily Reading: Matthew 19, Numbers 22, 1 Corinthians 6, Revelation 3, Song of Solomon 5, Psalm 144, Proverbs 25, 1 Chronicles 26, Daniel 4, Acts 4

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