None of us have lived through a presidential election like this one. Ferocious battle lines separate two armies. Fists are raised and cries of “Coup!” and “Fraud!” race across Social Media. Regardless of the winner, the losing side will not lay down. Realistic people know we are in the midst of a philosophical and political war. This election is a battle. It is not the war. But it’s a crucial battle. When it’s over, the landscape of America will have shifted.
If you follow the news you’re likely fighting anger and fear. In light of such raging times, and emotions, what can or should you do?
I’d suggest you recall the words of Daniel 2:21. In that passage the prophet reminds us it is God who, “removes kings, and establishes kings.” While more Americans voted in this election than any other, and in doing so expressed their will, ultimately, God decides who lives in the White House. So relax. The world will not end if things don’t go your way, or mine.
God has a purpose for the the outcome. And of course, nobody knows that purpose. We may never know. But we can know Paul commanded us to submit to governing authorities (Romans 13:1). He also told us to pray for kings and those in authority so, “we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1). And he did this while living in the Roman Empire. The the same empire that crucified an innocent man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I consider this I recall the occasion when David and three thousand of his men were running from King Saul–a half-crazy and revenge seeking ruler. Under the cover of darkness, David and Abishai, one of his mighty men, stealthily entered the king’s camp. Surrounded by his sleeping men, the king slept as soundly as a baby.
Abishai saw the moment as a divine appointment. “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands,” he said (1 Samuel 26:8). He pleaded with David to let him kill the king with a single thrust of his spear. “I won’t strike him twice,” he said.
Overhead the stars blinked, in the distance a wolf howled. Much closer angels leaned forward and watched as David contemplated Abishai’s request. I wonder what ran through David’s mind in the moment between hearing and answering. Perhaps he thought of Saul’s ruthless and immoral wrongs committed against him. Perhaps he considered what a terrible king and leader he had proven to be.
Whether or not David entertained such thoughts we’ll never know. What we do know is that a man after God’s own heart told Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” (1 Samuel 26:9). David trusted God to make things right.
As I write this, the outcome of the election hasn’t been determined. Until then, we must not surrender to discouragement or sleep when we should pray. As we pray, we must beg the God of heaven to expose every lie. We must plead with Heaven’s Ruler to honor truth over untruth. And we must hold to the belief that God “removes and establishes kings,” and presidents.
While I feel deep concern about the direction of our country, I have no such concern about who holds me, and our country, in his hands. And because I know this, I can sleep tonight. But only after I’ve prayed.