Sunday, November 30, 2008

Was Obama God's Choice for President?

This was the question that was presented and debated in an article from today. These are a couple of quoted differing opinions from the article:

"Do you believe that God is still in control of events in the world? Do you believe that all authority comes from God? … If you answered yes to even one of these questions, then you must realize that God chose Obama to be the president of this great country."

"How can we know that a leader is called and appointed by God? It may be easier to know when a person is not. We know that God is opposed to murdering babies, to sexual perversion, and other sins. If a candidate is in favor of those things, he or she is obviously not God's choice."

Since my worldview is formed by the Bible, here are my thoughts based upon the words of Scripture:

I Cor. 13:1 states very clearly: "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established."

So, from this verse, we must say that God has established Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States. Therefore, since God has established him, it is our duty as Christians to honor and respect him. To honor and respect President-elect Obama is essentially to honor and respect God, His Establisher.

And not only are we to honor and respect him; we are to pray fervently for him: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior..." (I Timothy 2: 1-3).

Now, this having been said, the Bible also shows that God doesn't always establish kings and leaders to BLESS the nation; sometimes He establishes certain people to discipline a people. In I Samuel 8, the people of Israel cry out for a king. God told them that if they had a king, he would "take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day."

And it said that the people responded, "No! We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."

So, God established Saul son of Kish as the first king of Israel. And all of the negative prophecies came true. God was upset at their call for a king because "they have rejected me as their king." And the result of this Divinely-established king was a whole lot more like a curse than a blessing.

So, do we know if God has established Barack Obama to bless us or discipline us? No, we don't. And, quite frankly, I think it is a useless exercise to debate this topic. As Christians, we have the amazing privilege of knowing our prayers reach the ears of the Universe's King, and He promises, "I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." (John 14: 13-14). I have done it before, but I will exhort you again: use your God-given privilege and pray for President-elect Obama. Pray for his safety, for him to make wise and God-pleasing decisions, and most of all that he would come to know Jesus in an ever greater way.

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