2 Kings 23:31-32 (ESV)
31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done.
Political change does not and cannot change the heart of a nation. While I would certainly agree that we want to be involved in the political process, voting for men and women of character and promoting laws that promote righteousness, no amount of political reform will ever make the people of a nation have different hearts toward God and the things of God.
One example of this truth is found near the end of the narrative of 2 Kings. In chapters 22-23, we find the record of the reign of King Josiah. King Josiah is described in the Bible in a very unique way. No king before him or after ever turned to God with all his heart as did Josiah. Josiah was also incredibly zealous for the name of God. He enacted political and religious reform in Judah and even over the land of Israel in ways that nobody had seen in history. He tore down altars to pagan gods and did away with practices which God declared to be evil. It was one of the greatest house-cleanings that ever happened.
But, when Josiah died and his son Jehoahaz took over, things went right back to the way that they were. The verses above tell us that Jehoahaz, unlike his father before him, did evil in the sight of the Lord. Just one generation after the greatest outer reform Israel had ever seen, the people and the leaders again dishonored God with their hearts and actions.
All this reminds us of a simple truth. We cannot reform the nation or even our town with outward changes. We reform only when God changes hearts. Only the Lord can see into the hearts of men. Only the Lord can change the hearts of men. And without that kind of God-sized heart-change, true national reform does not take place.
So, let us pray that God change the heart of our nation. Let us join God on mission to make disciples. These acts are the only things that will change our world.