Thursday, November 1, 2012

"I am voting for ..."

Well, I just filled out my ballot for next Tuesday's election here in the United States.  What a privilege is ours to be able to have free elections and to be able to vote our conscience.  Such freedom has been given to us as a gift from God and has been preserved by the valiant sacrifice of men and women over the past two hundred plus years.  It is being said that this is an election that will determine the course of our nation for the future.  Of course, there is some truth to that, because whoever wins this election will serve as President for the next four years, and that fact alone will serve to determine, from man's perspective, the direction of this nation.  At the same time, there is truly only ONE who determines the course of a nation and that is not the President or the ruler of any other nation.

Isaiah speaks of the God of Israel, the God who created all things, when he writes, "Do you not know? Have you not heard?  Has it not been told you from the beginning?  Have you not understood since the earth was founded?  He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.  He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.  He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of the world to nothing.  No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than He blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff" (Isaiah 40:21-24).

This is the same God the Apostle Paul speaks about centuries later as he addresses the men of Athens:  "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth ...  From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live" (Acts 17:24,26).  This God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the only true God, rules over the nations and appoints rulers in their places for His purposes, sometimes for blessing and sometimes for judgment.  God is sovereign, is in control over all that happens in the world.

So why vote?  Because God uses the prayers of His people and the actions of His people to bring to pass His eternal purposes - sometimes for salvation for those whom He has chosen, sometimes for judgment on those who have rejected Him and who worship other gods.  God's purposes are so far above ours that we must at all times yield to His wisdom and His will.  Our hope for the future rests not in man, but in God.  Men make promises they cannot keep, but God keeps every promise He makes and will not allow His children to stumble and fall.  Some people ask, "Where is God in all of this?"  Isaiah answers that question for Israel and for all today who trust in the God of Israel:

"Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, 'My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God?'  Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:27-31).

Oh, that everyone would know this God, who alone delivers us from our sin and ourselves!  Mankind is on the road to destruction and only those who come to God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ will be delivered, for there is forgiveness through His blood shed on the cross.  No ruler, no President or Prime Minister or dictator can bring peace and prosperity to a nation unless the God who rules over the universe intervenes for His own purposes.

Do you know Him? Is your hope in the LORD, the Creator of the heavens and the earth?  Are you seeking HIS glory or your own comfort?  That alone may determine your vote.  We may say that we do not like our choices, but the true choice to be made is this:  Who rules in your heart and in your life?  I pray that it is Jesus Christ, who is coming again to judge the living and the dead.  In HIS hand is life and death, joy and sorrow, riches and poverty, sickness and health.  Rest in Him, trust in Him, HOPE in Him and you will have peace, no matter what the outcome of next week's election.  Jesus is on the throne, and the angels are singing, "Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" (Revelation 4:8).

"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.  Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as Head over all.  Wealth and honor come from you; you are the Ruler of all things.  In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.  Now, our God, we give YOU thanks, and praise your glorious name!"  (I Chronicles 29:11-13).

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