Summary: Addressing the need to turn to God, not a political candidate to solve the problems in our nation.
I recently read an article, actually a series of articles in Newsweek magazine subtitled, “The Scary Challenges Facing the Next President on Day One.” There’s no question we are in a difficult time, the plummeting stock market, a world economy in recession, job loss, and new jobs are evaporating (Michigan’s unemployment is above 10% and expected to rise in the year). My generation doesn’t even know if social security will be around for us when we get to retirement. Healthcare costs keep going up (we have the highest healthcare costs per capita in the world). We have like 11 trillion dollars of debt and growing. We continue to fight a war on terror with ongoing fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. We face the possibilities of aggressive nations having the future capabilities of nuclear weapons. It can be kind of scary.
In the midst of this has been the election for the top office in the country, the most powerful position in the world, president of the United States of America. This past week we voted and elected a new president. But what has been interesting to me watching the run for election has been the reaction people have had as a result of this election, some have gotten very excited, other people are very discouraged and very concerned about our future. No doubt this is a historic time, we have the first black president, Barack Obama. But the question which comes to my mind right now is, in whom or what do you trust right ? Do you trust in a political party? A new president? In the government? Do you trust in the economy?
David wrote in Psalm 20:7
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
A more modern translation says, "Some nations boast of their armies and weapons, but we boast in the LORD our God."
Are we trusting in something other than God right now? If we do they perhaps we should worry, because God is our hope, not the leadership of our country, or armies or weapons, or anything else.
I am reminded of the OT in the Bible when the nation of Israel first got started, they didn’t have a national leader like a president or a king, it was a theocracy, God led with a judge or judges over the people. They had 12 tribes with different leaders but they were not very united. They had problems working together. The leadership they did have was corrupt and made poor choices so the people demanded that God give them a new leader. They wanted a king like all the other nations had.
In other words when things were not going well, the people thought what they needed most was a change in leadership, a new administration, a new structure of government. If we just get this new leader to rule over us everything will be okay. He will solve all of our problems. He will protect us from our enemies, he will bring a sense of unity among our divided people (bipartisanship?), he will stabilize our economy, he will provide a new direction, he will provide the change we need. Does this sound familiar? Of course it does, both presidential candidates were promising it.
Listen to God’s response to Samuel:
1 Sam. 8:7 And the LORD told him [Samuel]: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected [he was the religious national leader at the time], but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly."
God was telling Samuel that the reason they put their hope in new leadership to solve their problems was because they had rejected God as their leader. They no longer looked to God as their helper, and the same goes for us, if we quit looking to God we’re in trouble.
I am not saying anything against Barack Obama or John McCain if he had become president, or any of the other elected officials. I’m sure they will do their best to lead our country through these difficult times in the way they think is right. What I’m saying is they are human beings, they have flaws. They are not perfect and they will make mistakes. God went on to warn the people of Israel through Samuel of all the flaws a national leader would bring.
The primary problem in our country is not the economy or terrorism, or health care. The biggest problem is not something the government or the next president can fix at all. It is a sin problem. By sin, I mean people are rejecting God as their leader. They are failing to love and serve God, and each other.