Politics and Dead Man's Bones
We are in the throes of another oh-so-fun political cycle. The news is saturated with debates, commentary, and predictions about who will be the next President of the United States. I’ve found that at times I must turn off the TV and stay away from the political websites—not because I don’t want to be informed, but because some of the talk makes me overly anxious for the direction our country is headed politically and morally.
Now, I am not advocating that followers of Jesus should stick our heads in the sand, or that we should completely pull away from the political process. It’s certainly not my calling to be involved in politics, but I know that the Lord has called many God-fearing men and women to that purpose. However, I do think we must make sure that we have things in proper perspective.
I have begun digging into the book of Isaiah, a book which I have not read in its entirety in a long time, only a snippet here and a chapter there. Delving into such a thick, rich book is a bit intimidating, since much of it deals with the Ancient Israelites and the warnings of a prophet who ultimately was ignored. But there are so many truths that we can take away from it and so many prophecies within its chapters that have yet to be fulfilled. In my study today, a verse stuck out to me that had distinct meaning for the current state of our own country.
“Stop regarding man
in whose nostrils is breath,
for of what account is he?” Isaiah 2:22 (ESV)
I believe that our country has been experiencing a period of warning, much like Egypt did within the first few plagues, and that it is only a matter of time before warning turns to judgement. But God placed that specific Pharaoh on the throne at the time Moses returned to Egypt for a specific purpose—to defy him.
The Pharaohs were not just kings in Egypt, they were gods, worshipped by the people who trusted them to not only defend the country from foreign invaders but to provide for them; to ensure the crops were healthy, to guarantee that the Nile rose and fell, and even to make sure the sun rose and set every morning. Talk about responsibility! From the time of Joseph the Pharaohs pretty much owned everything and everyone in Egypt. Everyone, from the lowest slave to the highest Nomarch (Governor), was beholden to Pharaoh through taxes. Does this sound familiar at all?
We must remember that it is the prerogative of God to raise up kings and bring them low (Daniel 2:21). Whoever becomes our next president will be there only at the permission of our great God who in His sovereignty, has placed him there.
It's important to support candidates who will steer this country back toward morality and the laws that the Founding Fathers based upon the Torah itself. But remember that we are not to “regard men” as anything more than what they are, vessels in the hands of a sovereign God whose purposes are perfect. The kings of this earth may rage, plot together (Psalm 2:1-3) and shake their defiant fists at God, but it is He who gave them breath in the first place.
Remember that Egypt was once a vibrant, wealthy, thriving culture, with the most highly educated people and the most political power in the world; yet all that is left of it is weathered, pitted stone and dead man’s bones. So if this political cycle is giving you anxiety or you are tempted to feel defeated. Remember, it’s only God’s Kingdom that will last forever! So let's keep our eyes focused on the One who rules and reigns on that throne and pray that our leaders will do so as well.