Sermons

Summary: The election is over....can we relax?

I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored the one who lives forever. For his sovereignty is an everlasting

sovereignty, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted

as nothing, and he does what he wills with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can

stay his hand or say to him, “What are you doing?” Daniel 4:34 - 35 (NRSVA)

1Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those

authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Romans 13:1 (NRSVA)

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The election results are in, and I can finally turn off the news and get some sleep…or can I? Whenever the vote is tallied

you can either begin to relax or really worry; this generally depends on whether or not your candidate won.

Either way, win or lose, there are considerations. Those who “lost” start thinking about 2012; those who “won” wonder

what in the world they’ve gotten themselves in-for. Bill Clinton talked about that; after an improbable victory in 1991.

On inauguration day in January 1992 he is said to have been walking in the parade to the White House thinking, “O-my-

gosh….I’m the President….what do I do now?” It’s a feeling my dog Annie the pit bull once had – She was only a year and

a half old, and after chasing 500 cars she finally caught one….uh, what do I do with this thing?

One thing is certain about the winners and losers in politics – and in every other form of leadership – there is one

besetting sin that eventually grabs them all – pride! It is so easy to start believing your “press reports.” In Presidential

elections there are thousands of people at rallies screaming your name, or your slogan; it is a narcotic!

Even preachers at small churches can begin to believe the things people say when they exit on a Sunday – oh, you’re such

a great preacher. (Actually I very rarely hear that, so while I’m not exactly immune to pride, I do seem to be sheltered

from it!)

The addictive quality of men’s praise and our own pride is enough to turn you into something you aren’t. There was once

a ruler who became a lycanthrope.

Lycanthropy, a psychosis in which the patient has delusions of being a wild animal (usually a wolf), has been recorded

since antiquity. The Book of Daniel describes King Nebuchadnezzar as suffering from depression that deteriorated over a

seven-year period into a frank psychosis at which time he imagined himself a wolf. [1]

Nebuchadnezzar’s story is recorded in the fourth chapter of Daniel. He wasn’t just the leader of the world’s most

powerful nation; he was the leader of the world. The world spread out from its center, Babylon – modern day Iraq. This

man Nebuchadnezzar was an ancestor of Iraq’s deposed president, Sadaam Hussein, and he had an ego that would’ve

made Sadaam look like Mother Teresa!

Leadership and ego have always had a “hand-in-glove” relationship. Some of the greatest leaders have fallen because of

it. Visions come to mind of some recent ones;

Sadaam, of course,

Richard Nixon declaring that he was “not a crook”

Bill Clinton pointing his finger into the cameras and defending his honor about what he didn’t do with that woman.

From whence cometh power? Does power originate in the heart of man, or his hand that grabs it? Is it from deals cut in

smoke-filled back rooms on the seedy side of town? Does power come from the electoral process? Nebuchadnezzar

learned (the hard way) that power comes only from God…and that God can take it away just as quickly and easily!

THE KING’S SELF-IMPORTANCE

4I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living at ease in my home and prospering in my palace. 5I saw a dream that frightened me; my

fantasies in bed and the visions of my head terrified me. 6So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be

brought before me, in order that they might tell me the interpretation of the dream. 7Then the magicians, the

enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the diviners came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not tell me its

interpretation. 8At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and who

is endowed with a spirit of the holy gods—and I told him the dream: 9“O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know

that you are endowed with a spirit of the holy gods and that no mystery is too difficult for you. Hear the dream that I

saw; tell me its interpretation. 10Upon my bed this is what I saw; there was a tree at the center of the earth, and its

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