Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Morning After

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

There will be plenty of time for criticism later (like, say, later today). But the people have spoken strongly, and they want Barack Obama to be the 44th president of the United States.

I believe in this system even when I don't like the outcome. For eight years, I've watched disgustedly while the far left says of George W. Bush, "He's not my president!" That's a sub-American position that I refuse to wallow in.

Barack Obama will be my president. I will mostly disagree with him. I wish it were someone else. But for better or for worse, he is now our representative to the world, and because I love my country, I want him to do well. If he's doing well, the country is likely doing well.

Because of that, my family and I are praying for President-elect Obama. We pray that he will have wisdom and strength to do a very difficult job. We pray that his eyes will be opened to the horror of abortion. We pray that he will lead justly and righteously. We pray that God might perhaps use Obama's election to finally heal some of the deep racial fissures that still divide this country. We pray for his protection and safety, as many would wish to do him harm.

I woke up feeling great today. Not because the election went my way, but rather because, in a sense, all elections go my way. The reason for this is that my God is an un-elected God, and He does not change with the winds of public opinions. He sits above all earthly rulers and authorities, and indeed He is their very creator. He builds up and He tears down. He raises up empires and overthrows them. He installs presidents and he removes them. In the words of the great Westminster Confession of Faith, "God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass." The president's authority is only a delegated authority--it's given by God, and God can take it away whenever He sees fit:

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)

The sovereign God is bringing about exactly what He intends to bring about. It may well be that He is executing judgment on our nation. He would certainly be just to do so. But in any case, the world (and our nation) is right on track toward the purpose He's established for it. There is no politician who gets in the way of that.

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)

So on this day after Barack Obama's election, I rejoice. Not because I think he's the best man for the job (though I will be praying for him nonetheless), but because God is God, and He is good. Everything--everything--He does is for the good of His people.

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.

The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The LORD will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!
(Psalm 146, ESV)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

puts everything into perspective- thanks for that reminder!!