Ezra 7:27-28 – 27 Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, 28 and who extended to me his steadfast love before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the Lord my God was on me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.
What should a Christian do with politics? If a particular person becomes president, ought we to retire in dread of the doom that awaits us? Ought we to spend all our energies to attempt to insure that the right kind of person is elected? Is the election of the wrong kind of man a sure sign of the judgment and wrath of God?
Praise God for the little book of Ezra. Tucked away behind the historical books of 1-2 Kings and 1-2 Chronicles is a record of the return of the exiles of Judah from Babylon. The nation had been captured, taken away from their land, totally conquered. How sad and hopeless a situation this was. But, within seventy years of the original captivity, God did something amazing in the heart of a foreign king.
God redirected the heart of a man who had no reason to do anything kind for the Jews. God put in place a ruler who would send the captives back to Judah. Not only did God put in place such a ruler who would allow the return of the exiles, but he also established in this ruler’s heart to command—not allow but command—the rebuilding of the temple of God. Then, if that all wasn’t enough, God also set in the king’s mind that the royal treasury ought to foot the bill for the temple’s rebuilding.
What should we do with politics? For sure, I believe that we should be responsible citizens who do all in our power to establish principles of righteousness in our society. But I also am not willing to assume that, if my particular candidate does not get elected, doom is sure to follow. The hearts of rulers are in God’s hands. Who knows that God will not allow the worst possible candidate to come into office for the mere purpose of changing that man’s heart into a heart of character. Let us not stress ourselves to the point of sickness over an upcoming election. Instead, let us pray that God will show his mighty hand by directing our nation and its leaders toward his glory.