Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Dealing With That Negative Political Vibe

The past few weeks of American political news broadcasting have left most of us waist deep in negativity. Our two major political parties have been slinging mud daily, and I do not think this has done anything but raise the approval rating of the current Commander in Chief. Rather than providing you with a list of examples, I will try to take the "50,000 foot view" and think through some of the lessons I have learned from my Bible study this past month. 

After the time of the Judges when,
"In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit." Judges 21:25
Samuel led Israel, but he was not a king. Samuel was called by God, but who would lead Israel after he died? His sons? They, like Eli's sons in 1 Samuel 3, were worthless.
"When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba.  But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” 1 Samuel 8:1-5
Day after day I have been listening to speeches from both sides about the dishonest gain and perverted justice of our candidates for President. I want somebody to vote for rather than having to go to the polls to vote against someone.

If I didn't know better, I would, like the Israelites, want a king.

Of course, I do know better, because the Bible tells me so,

And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.  Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”
Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king.  He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.  Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”
When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.” 1 Samuel 8: 7-22
I am afraid that many Americans believe that the President is like a king or queen, some sort of superhuman who will solve their problems. This couldn't be farther from what our founding fathers had planned. The people have developed a dependency on the government to act as king rather than relying on God. The consequences for our nation of such an attitude will be as grim to us as the desire of the Israelites to have a king was to them for they wound up with years of kings who did things that were evil in the sight of the Lord, resulting in invasion, subjugation, and exile. Do we want the same thing?

There is no way to put a positive spin on the current cast of characters so I have to look to the place I should have been looking towards all along. Moving forward, I will pray to God that he will restore our republic and teach His people to place their faith in Him rather than in human leaders. The only thing I am afraid of is the method God will choose to teach us this important lesson. It might be a harsh lesson.

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