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November 3, 2008 / beidson

Horses, Chariots, and the Change We Need

On this election eve, most Americans’ thoughts are probably on tomorrow, and even more significantly, beyond tomorrow.  With so many issues on the table, and so many critical ones at that, no one can be blamed for being preoccupied with the election.  Change is coming, to be sure, but is it really the change we need?  With all of these promises for a better future, how can we be sure that the candidates will deliver on their word?  How can we trust our leaders to do what is right?

Let’s not get carried away with political fervor, nor with political despondency.  It is a good thing to be concerned about the state of our nation, and it is right to be politically active in useful and necessary ways.  As Christians, our political conversation should be of a very different tone than that of others who are not constrained nor enlightened by Scripture.  And the content of our conversations should be different as well, both today and the day after tomorrow.

Regardless of who is elected, our trust should not rest in the power of our new President.  Yes, he is to be trusted to a certain degree, but no man can save us from despair and death but Jesus Christ alone.  This is hard to remember at a time when it looks almost certain that a staunchly pro-abortion candidate will take office, with an agenda steering further left than anyone preceding him.  And conservatives must ask themselves how something as simple as protecting the unborn has become such a morally ambiguous issue for most voters.  This too could lead us to much despair, were it not for a man who is staunchly pro-life, the Lord Jesus, who is the Creator of every living thing.

Here is the key: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).  Again, how easy it is for us to get discouraged when politics don’t go our way, but this is to our own shame.  Political consequences are real, so we cannot pretend that they will not affect us.  But ultimately our trust should be in God, not in the horses and chariots of D.C.

As for the change we need, it will come, and this is not to say only if McCain wins.  The change we need will come when King Jesus comes to rule with justice and righteousness.  We can hope for a person who will model his divine justice in the meantime, but our eyes ought to be fixed beyond D.C. to the New Jerusalem.  Presidents and world leaders who are not concerned about justice will themselves be judged by the final and greatest King, and we, the citizens of both kingdoms, will be judged as well for the way we have viewed Washington through the scope of the New Jerusalem.  Did we trust in limozines and motorcades, or did we look for a King seated on a white horse?

The change we need is not Obama, nor is it McCain.  And maybe our joy or frustration with the next president should be tempered by an unwavering faith in the real agent of change.  Yes, let’s look toward D.C. and trust that God will direct the President’s heart in good ways (Proverbs 21:1).  But let’s look east for an even greater reason, and put our hope in the Man who will really deliver on all of his promises.

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