TBC Special Commentary: What if (Fill in the blank) Loses ?
Lot of talk in the US on the upcoming election. McCain vs. Obama. Historic moment either way – first woman VP or first African-American president.
Being black, I sit back and listen at how folks in my ethnic community feel about Obama, McCain and a lot more.
Being reformed, I sit back and listen to how folks in my spiritual communities feel about Obama, McCain and a lot more.
I posted this on a message board a few days back in regard to this topic:
If Obama loses…..life in the US will go on, God will still be Sovereign over the nations and their length of time in existence. The same God who ordained that Bush be in office 8 years also ordained that Clinton be in office 8 years.
If McCain loses….life in the US will go on. I will go to work, teach my kids and prepare for upcoming concerts. God will still be Sovereign over the nations and their length of time in existence. The same God who ordained that Bush be in office 8 years also ordained that Clinton be in office 8 years.
Prov. 21:1 – The kingâ€™s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
Prov. 16:4 – The LORD has made all for Himself,
Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom
Sometimes, we forget Who is really in charge and give too much ‘dap’ to ourselves and our actions. Acts 17 tells us that it is God who…”…has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (17:26).
Times (the length of time) and boundaries (the size of the nation). Now you may not believe that, but it doesn’t make it any less true than believing water is dry makes it true.
Just like folk in the OT going into battle – we realize that risk is a part of human existence in the outworking of the ultimate plan of God. Human history – all of it – is moving toward that point. God uses means to get things in history to that point. So we vote. We assess situations and circumstances….and we go ‘out’ and do….just like Joab and David in 2 Sam. 10.
“When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Syrians. The rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai his brother, and he arrayed them against the Ammonites. And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.”
So we plan…and we do….but we realize that at the end of the day, the results are up to God. He may move some peoples’ hearts to switch at the polls. It happens.
So….we’ll see. But regardless of who is in office, God is still working all things out for GOOD to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). That gives anyone in that category real HOPE regardless of who gets elected.
As Christians, we SHOULD find it disturbing that people who proclaim the same faith as us are constantly in an uproar every election cycle. In large part, it’s because a sound theology of the Sovereignty of God is not found in most ‘evangelical’ churches today. If you thought biblically about God and the extent of His power of human government and human history INCLUDING salvation and all areas related to it, you wouldn’t have a fit at the thought of ‘That One’ or ‘That Other One’ in office in 25 days.
I’m a republican.Â A black republican (we’re rare these days!).Â And while I disagree very passionately with the majority of what Barack Obama has to say, I’m not going to get any gray hairs over whether or not he wins.Â If he wins, the country will continue down the spiral of degradation spiritually and morally – only now with some presidential clout behind it.Â Young girls will be able to kill their unborn children up to the day of delivery via partial birth abortion. Okay, the economy might get better. Maybe in 3 years. Taxes will go up (they always do). We’ll probably get a terrorist attack.
So let’s say McCain wins. Abortion’s not going to end immediately…. even Dubya didn’t end abortion and he’s had 8 years to do it.Â Numbers have gone down a bit, but not much.Â We may not get a terrorist attack. Economy will eventually flip and get better. Maybe in 3 years. Taxes will go up (they always do).
Horrible as it is, were you expecting different ?
Sometimes, I think we forget that both political parties are filled with sinners. So Bush promised no scandals under his administration in his 2000 election bid, but that promise was broken.Â So a bunch of self-righteous republicans who chided Clinton for moral failures in office, Whitewater, cutting military spending and making our nation unsecure, etc…. are now going through their own cycle of moral failures in their party, their own scandals and investigations and while we’ve secured Canada, Mexico is still wide open.
This brings us full circle to Romans 3:10-18.Â I’d still rather vote for the candidate who is more likely to keep things flowing in a conservative direction on moral issues (since those are the issues that eventually affect our economic policies and such, whether the candidates themselves believe what they say or not), but I’m not going to expect perfection or consistency from anyone in office.
Because they’re all sinners. And they’re all going to do whatever is most pleasurable and desirable to their sinful natures at the time they legislate.Â Â So McCain’s going to say and do things contrary to his previous record on same-sex marriage (back in 04, he said it should be a state issue, not federal) just to court the conservative vote.Â Likewise, Obama is going to make a gazillion promises, shout ‘hope’ a few times and stretch the truth just to make himself look goodER than McCain.
HOPE in God, my friends. Hope in God. Trust Him so that if you’re in Babylon like Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego (aka ‘A Bad Negro’ for all the old school black preachers), you’ll still do just the same as your spiritual anscestors did:
“”Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:Â Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:4-7, ESV)
Reorient your mind to think as a person in exile.Â You are NOT on earth to please yourself or pursue your best life now. Joel Osteen is a nice guy, but preaches a lie. Don’t buy it.
God’s purposes and promises are (to use a Dr. VanGemeren term) transgenerational.
That means that YOU may live righteously in this lifetime and NEVER see the fruit of your labors in your children’s lives, except that your faith and teaching to them get carried on to the next generation.Â The country, meanwhile, may continue to spiral downward around you and them. But you and they both stay committed.
Then, this happens:
“”For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.Â Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.Â You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” (vv. 10-14, ESV)
After 70 years.
That’s 1.5 generations.Â That’s not immediate. That’s not ‘My Best Life Now’ or ‘Becoming A Better You’.
As a black man, it’s pretty easy for me to look back 150 years to slavery and see my anscestors toiling in open fields, only passing on this very faith and NEVER seeing the results of their toil in their lifetime. Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s “An Ante-Bellum Sermon” (antebellum meaning ‘before the war’) is a sparkling example of this.
And now we stand in 2008 looking at the results of that faith and those hard-fought battles for equality come to fruition in our community as well as in our nation.
Well, if perseverance on this social issue yielded such fruit, what if we were to take time, sacrifice the comfortable lives we live now and devote them to passing on things that matter spiritually to our children, regardless of who gets in office in 25 days ?
Sometimes, we need a little re-focusing on things that REALLY and ULTIMATELY matter.