God has a long history of influencing leaders. It may even be argued that he likes using difficult leaders at times. To me, these stories have served as a wonderful reminder that he is the one true God, he is the one in charge, and man’s folly cannot undo or stop his goodness.
In Genesis 20 we see Abraham give his wife Sarah to the king, Abimelech, in a ploy of deception (the king thought Sarah was Abraham’s sister). Without any help, God intervenes in a dream before the king lays a hand on Sarah. The result of this was that Abimelech enriched Abraham as a way of apology and received a peaceful prayer and blessing from Abraham in return.
Further on in Genesis we see God giving the Pharaoh of Egypt a dream which only Joseph, one of God’s own, can interpret. God uses this influence to place Joseph in a position to prevent starvation for the whole country over a course of fourteen years. (Holy Bible, Genesis 37-50) Entering Exodus, we watch on as God uses Moses to speak and influence the Pharaoh via a series of God-sent plagues. The result? The Pharaoh freed an entire nation after nearly 400 years of slavery. And think, we are still only looking at the very beginning of the bible!
Moving forward through the pages we can see the way that King Nebuchadnezzar was influenced by God through dreams and through Daniel. (Holy Bible, Daniel 4) Esther was placed by God to influence her Persian King, Xerxes I, and stop the genocide of Jewish people. (Holy Bible, Esther 5) Nehemiah, cup-bearer to the king Artaxerxes, asked for permission to reunite the Jewish people from exile and rebuild the city of Jerusalem with success. (Holy Bible, Nehemiah 2) All of this evidence of God influencing leaders and we still aren’t even halfway through the bible!
When it comes to leaders and politics I feel God has quite a track record of being influential and working in mysterious ways. Whether or not an individual leader is a follower of Yahweh, or Christ, does not seem to be a qualifier. Look at the way in which George Washington, with an entire army behind him, handed the reins of an entire nation over to the people. How about the way that Abraham Lincoln was placed in a unique situation that caused him to be influenced to free an entire nation of slaves in America? During WWII I have no doubt about the way in which God influenced many of the greatest world leaders such as Roosevelt, Churchill, Truman, and even Stalin to stop the mass genocide his people. And if you want to stick only to the bible, let’s talk about Paul: Former Christian killer- turned author of nearly a third of the new testament.
So where do we stand when politics do not go our way, as Christians? I think it is important to recognize that regardless of God’s will in the matter, no man (or woman) would stand in a position of power unless God allowed it. Yes, God grants free will to his people on earth and we have permission to elect leaders according to majority rule. However, throughout history we see evidence that God alone has the final say. He will use his people, he will influence leaders, and he will work things together for the good of those that love him. It is up to us to be available for God’s use and to answer the calls that are placed before us on a daily basis because each moment leads us to a contributing purpose in the bigger picture.
I do not like to speak about politics and religion on my blog. I don’t enjoy making a commitment to one party or another in my writing. The fact is, on both sides of the aisle we will find Christians that love Jesus with all of their hearts, all of their strength, and all of their minds. It doesn’t matter to me which side of the aisle my brothers and sisters in Christ tend to reside. What matters to me is that we are all acting in a manner that is worthy of the call Christ has given. What matters to me is that each and every one of us is trusting God with the bigger picture. After all, isn’t it a bit silly for us to think any one political party has the entire plan of God in the forefront of their agenda? My final vote: Let’s trust the master with his plan.
It is with regret that I take this opportunity to inform you, dear reader, that I have decided to cease posting book reviews on Crutchprints. While these have served to increase both traffic and overall number of followers, the direction is pulling me away from my vision for this site.
What can you expect from now on? More of the traditional posts that Crutchprints is known for: Journey articles, humorous stories, minimal poetry, and relational tools. In addition, I will be releasing works of fiction that highlight social issues and insights in the form of short stories. Thank you for following, and I hope that you continue to enjoy posts by Crutchprints.