Jeremiah 27:5 – It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me.
With the recent election cycle behind us and the 2008 presidential election talk already swirling, it is important that we who are believers in Christ recognize just who is in control of this process. In Jeremiah 27, the Lord sent a message to several kings through the word of Jeremiah. He let the leaders of the nations know, in no uncertain terms, that he, the LORD, is the one who put them into power for his own purposes.
Now, let me honestly say that I was not totally pleased with the outcome of the November elections here in the US. It appears to me that our nation, as a whole, took a moral step backward as many of the elected candidates support abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and homosexual marriage (to name only a few issues). I certainly would prefer to see our nation’s leaders in opposition to these issues, as to allow such things is only to allow our nation to slide further and further down the slippery slope toward moral decay.
But I also recognize, given this verse in Jeremiah, that elections are not merely a reflection of the will of the people. Elections and the placement of people into positions of power are the result of God working out his will for his purposes. Thus, I can not say that this last round of November elections thwarted the will of God. They most certainly did not. God is still on his throne, and is still the one who raises up and takes down leaders based on his own plan.
So, what can we, as believers, learn from this? One thing that I believe that God wants us to get when we read Jeremiah 27:5 is that we must recognize that God is in control. Whether elections or even wars go the way we want them to, we dare not believe that God is somehow not on the throne. He has claimed to have control over who is in power, and we must trust that his will is accomplished. Thus, when he places people in power, we need to obey his command to pray for them, and to ask that God be merciful to our nation by leading us away from the actions and policies that will bring upon our nation God’s judgment.
Do not read this as a call to cease all Christian participation in the political process. To ignore your right and responsibility to vote would be for you to fail morally. However, we must realize that the way that Christ will be glorified in the US or in any other nation is not simply through the political process. Christ is honored when the people of God share the gospel with the lost. Christ is honored when the lost are saved, and the hearts of the nations change. Then the political process can work in a positive direction, leading the nation toward policies and actions that will honor the God whom the people serve.