|From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase|
November 7, 2022 - In a November 4th Washington Times opinion column, former Bush administration official Tom Basile wrote the following, commenting on the mid-term elections that will take place in the United States tomorrow:
It's finally here. The most important election of our lifetimes, since the last most important election of our lifetimes, which happened to be the last election. We've talked so much about the names, the issues and the full-contact politics. The races have become part sport, part sitcom and part reality TV series that would make even the Kardashians envious.
For all the sound, fury and farce, the script has been quite familiar. Democrats focused their time and money scaring voters about abortion, heralding their latest welfare schemes and the impending planetary doom that more government will somehow prevent. Let's not forget the new drive to allow children to carve up their bodies and change their gender. At least that was new.
Republicans have predictably hung their fortunes on the economy, crime, the border and pushing back against the culture war that threatens basic societal norms and fundamental rights.
Campaigns are always flush with promises, but whether those elected have the courage to move the country in a positive direction is the leap of faith we make every time we go into the voting booth. It's a faith that often is more of a transference of responsibility.
In this time of democratized information, for all our perceived individual power, too many Americans still cling to the notion that a party, politician or program will cure the ills of society.
Up to this point, Bible-believing Christians might agree with Mr. Basile. We are, it seems, always told - often from pulpits - that the impending election is "the most important in our lifetimes" and that "the future of America" - and here, non-American readers may insert the names of their own countries - "is at stake." Political posturing dominates on all sides. No party, politician or program will cure the ills of society. But then Mr. Basile declared,
Only Americans can save and strengthen America.
At this point, the true Church of Jesus Christ must disagree - and with Scriptural warrant. Americans are impotent. Even American Christians are impotent. There is only One who is the Lord Almighty:
With Him are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding. If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt; if He imprisons a man, there can be no release. If He withholds the waters, they dry up; if He sends them out, they overwhelm the earth. With Him are strength and prudence.
The deceived and the deceiver are His. He leads counselors away plundered, and makes fools of the judges. He loosens the bonds of kings, and binds their waist with a belt. He leads princes away plundered, and overthrows the mighty. He deprives the trusted ones of speech, and takes away the discernment of the elders. He pours contempt on princes, and disarms the mighty. He uncovers deep things out of darkness, and brings the shadow of death to light.
He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them stagger like a drunken man. (Job 12:13-25)
Name any nation that now exists or has ever been; name any ruler who now controls a nation or now lies in the dust; name any event, from the smallest and seemingly least significant to the greatest events of history - all are under the complete and sovereign control of the Lord. As the risen Christ told the redeemed remnant before He ascended to glory,
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
But Jesus did not stop there. He told us what we are to be doing in light of this the greatest of all cosmic facts:
Go therefore [because He is on the throne, because He has been given all authority] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)
The same people who heard these words from their Lord soon faced opposition and persecution from both civil and religious authorities, even to the point of imprisonment and death. But what did they do? Did they form a political party, or align with one, to initiate reform? Some of them, such as Simon the Zealot, had done so in the past. Did they seek to align themselves with the existing powers? Matthew the tax collector, and the priests who had believed, had done so in the past.
But when the fiery trials came, when the very existence not only of the nation of Israel but also of the fledgling Church was at stake, what did they do? They cried out to the Almighty God in the name of Jesus Christ, the One who possesses all power, all authority, in heaven and on earth:
...they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: "Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: 'Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.' For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus."
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:24-31)
Dear friends, it is important for Christians to exercise their rights as citizens wherever and whenever possible, to vote for those who speak for Biblical morality and God-fearing government. But we must recognize that salvation is not in the hands of Americans, or the citizens of any other nation. It is to found only in the strong arm of the Lord. Let us desire that same supernatural shaking, that same filling of the Spirit, that same boldness, which the Lord poured out on the Christians in those early days. Through this, and only through this, will the turning of any nation, if God wills it, come about:
Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish.
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps truth forever, who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; but the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign forever - Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 146:3-10)
1. Tom Basile, "Voting Is Just the First Step for Americans to Save America", as viewed on 11/4/2022 at https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/nov/4/voting-is-just-first-step-for-americans-to-save-am/
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