With important issues on the table and potential long-lasting implications of an election, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the hype, madness, and passion that abounds during an election cycle.
There are several pitfalls Christians can fall into with their thinking in regards to politics:
- You can put your favorite candidate on a pedestal and give them “savior-like” status
- You can have a doomsday mentality if things don’t turn out the way you would like
- You may doubt God’s sovereignty if your candidate does not get elected
- You may develop a greater passion for a certain political cause than the passion you have for Jesus
Any of these mentalities forget important scriptural truths about the character of God.
The following five truths will help to avoid those pitfalls and renew our minds with the truth of God:
1. Compared to God, mankind is next to nothing.
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coast lands like fine dust. (Isaiah 40:15)
Isaiah wrote Isaiah 40 to exalt the greatness of God and give humans the proper perspective about both God and man. In light of God’s greatness, the nations of the earth are a mere drop in a bucket.
God is so much greater and more powerful than man that even the most powerful people on the planet are still dust on the scales compared to his greatness. That includes the President, his cabinet, and all of the great rulers in the world’s history.
This is a theme Isaiah touched on throughout the book of Isaiah: “Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?” (Isaiah 2:22).
2. God rules over earthly kingdoms.
The story of the humiliation and restoration of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:28-37 documents this perfectly. The king basically said about his kingdom, “look at what my hands have done!” taking the glory for himself and failing to give God the glory he deserves.
God then humbled him, saying he would be driven from his kingdom of Babylon and his dwelling place would be with the beasts of the field, “…until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will” (Daniel 4:32).
Even if the “wrong candidate” gets elected, it is encouraging to remember that nobody is outside of the mighty rule of God because he has total control of the situation.
3. God ordains those who are elected to office.
He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings. (Daniel 2:21)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1)
Nothing slips past God. He has total control of every situation and works everything out the way he desires.
The world of politics is no different. God has total control of each leader who is elected and has total control over every day they are in office.
God is more than capable of turning a bad situation into something that glorifies him, and he is for the ultimate good of his people.
4. God is our only Savior and deliverer.
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine. (Psalm 33:16-19)
Politicians can write bills and laws, give speeches, render judgments, and lead a nation. One thing they never will be able to do is save us from our sins. Only by the blood of Jesus Christ can we receive forgiveness of sins and the salvation we need to escape God’s judgment and begin to live the new life that God created us for.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
5. The reign of earthly leaders is temporary, but Jesus’ reign is forever.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:32-33)
No matter how you slice it, forever is a long time. Even if an earthy ruler ruled an entire lifetime, that still would not compare to forever. It would be like a grain of sand in the Sahara desert or a bucket of water in the ocean.
This is especially encouraging to us because we know that for all of eternity Jesus will be reigning. Jesus’ rule will bring perfect justice and perfect peace. This is a truth we can cling to when our current situation is far from what we desire!
A Prayer for Election Season
Sovereign Lord, we pray that we can echo the words of the humbled Nebuchadnezzar:
Your dominion is an everlasting dominion, and your kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, you do according to your will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth.
Lord, help us have the proper perspective on politics and the proper hope in you. Help us care more about loving you and loving others than we do any political cause, and help us have a deeper desire to share you with others (adapted from Daniel 4:34-35).