Feelings of hopelessness and despair
If you're like me, the day before this presidential election is one where I am left with feelings of blah. Never before in my life have I been so uninspired to cast a vote for President. Moreover, it seems like no matter who will be elected president on November 8, it will not be for the benefit of our country. It's easy to spiral into feelings of hopelessness and despair.
But this is not where the Christian should find himself on this day, or any other day, for that matter. If nothing else, our recent sermon series in the book of Joshua has served to underscore for me the reality that all power in this world comes from God and not from men (or women). This should reframe the way that we think about the presidential election and leadership of our country.
It is the Lord your God who fights for you
Throughout the book of Joshua there is a clear theme that is apparent: there is no power in men, but only in God. This is demonstrated time after time, as God says as much to the Israelites and shows them this truth in real life as he leads them against insurmountable odds.
Joshua 23.3, 9-10 - And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the Lord your God who has fought for you.... For the Lord has driven out before you great and strong nations. And as for you, no one has been able to stand before you to this day. one man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the Lord your God who fights for you, just as he promised you.
The message to the Israelites is clear: there is no power in you; there is only power in the Lord. This message is also reiterated to Israel a couple hundred years later during the time of Gideon. Gideon and the Israelite army were going up against the occupying Midianite forces. But before the battle, God gives Gideon some peculiar instructions: "The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.' Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, 'Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurt away from Mount Gilead.'" Then 22,000 of the people returned and 10,000 remained. The reason God commanded Gideon to pare down his forces was so that they people would know that there is no power in men. And you probably know what happens next in the story of Gideon: God looked at the 10,000 men that remained and decided that was too many as well. So Gideon made some more cuts and was left with 300 men against an army of Midianites. But here's the point: 300 men is still too many when considering the reality that God is the only one with power. Even one man is too many. God doesn't even need one man or woman to bring about his purposes in this world. God is not limited in his power or strength. He can accomplish anything because he has limitless resources and power.
This is something we need to remember as we go to our polling places: God is strong, and kings, presidents, and armies are weak. The course of our nation and its successes and failures depend on God, not on presidents and leaders. Everything we have comes from him and because of him, not because of the person that carries the title of "President" before their name. What we as a nation have achieved, we have not achieved as a result of our own power. What we possess we did not gain because of our craftiness. What we now enjoy we did not earn. All was given to us by God, not by any man.
How now shall we live?
On November 8 you should go to your polling place and cast a vote for the candidate that you believe, according to scripture, will lead our nation closer to biblical righteousness, and know that God has ordained our next president from before the foundation of the world for his good purposes. Do not go to the polling place on November 8 presuming to trust in yourself, or in Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, or even a third party candidate, for they are nothing. You should not feel despair about this presidential election. Rather, you should rejoice in hope and confidence in the Lord, regardless of exit polls and early results. It is God who has fought for us and on our behalf. Our trust should be continually in him.