Response to the Election Result: Prayer
Five Biblical Examples
1. In Genesis 12, God promised Abram that he would bless him, making him a great nation with many descendants. Later in this chapter Abram and his wife Sarai go down into Egypt. Abram is fearful that the Egyptians will kill him to steal his beautiful wife, so he tells Sarai to claim she is his sister (this shows how fear can lead to making crazy decisions). Sarai is then taken into Pharaoh's harem. Pharaoh planned to keep Sarai for a wife, but the Lord sent plagues upon Pharaoh and all his house. Apparently, in inquiring why calamity was coming upon him, Pharaoh learned Sarai was Abram's sister, and he returned Sarai to Abram and made sure that they were able to safely leave his land.
2. In Genesis 20 an almost identical situation occurred involving Abraham, Sarah, and King Abimelech; this time, after Abimelech took Sarah from Abraham, but before he could take her for a wife, the Lord came to him in a dream and warned him that he would be killed if he had relations with her. Thus, Sarah is once again returned to Abraham by divine intervention.
3. In Exodus 7-12 Pharaoh repeatedly denied liberty to the people of Israel, intending to keep them as a weakened slave-race, subjected to the Egyptians. But God sent severe plagues upon the Egyptians, culminating in the death of all firstborn people and animals in unbelieving households, including the death of Pharaoh's own child. Thus, Pharaoh's will was broken, and he commanded the people of Israel to leave Egypt.
4. In Daniel 4 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was bragging on his own majesty and accomplishments. Presumably, he was very pleased with his state in life and planned to continue reigning, uninterrupted, as a glorious king upon the earth, commanding others to worship him as he worshiped himself. Quite suddenly, God struck Nebuchadnezzar with madness and he lost everything; he was reduced to living as a beast in the field. After an appointed time had passed, God restored his senses to him, and King Nebuchadnezzar worshiped God, rather than himself.
5. In Acts 9 Saul had been granted executive authority to capture and imprison Christians, for the purpose of having them sentenced to death. While Saul was "yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord" (Acts 9:1 KJV), the Lord appeared to him, knocked him to the ground and informed him that he was now an Christian apostle, instead of a persecutor of Christians (cf. Acts 26:12-18).
Throughout Scripture we see kings and other governmental authorities who express one intention, and yet, when he chooses, God over-rides the intentions of kings and rulers so that they end up making decisions contrary to their original intention. God rules in this way for the purpose of maginifying His glory.
As Denny Burk noted, Donald Trump displayed a character that was outside the normal bounds of acceptability for a presidential candidate. If someone read the "Resolution on Moral Character of Public Officials" from the Southern Baptist Convention, without knowing that it was adopted in 1998 (in light of the scandals of President Bill Clinton), it would be easy to assume that the resolution was crafted with Mr. Trump in mind. What was true in 1998 under Bill Clinton is true in 2016 under Donald Trump. Yet Mr. Trump (who is in print and on tape as repeatedly bragging about marital infidelity) infamously claimed in 2015 that he rarely, if ever, asks God for forgiveness, saying: "I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture. I don't."
For both political and moral reasons, many Christians are seriously concerned about what a Donald Trump presidency may hold. But God can change Donald Trump's mind and his character, and Christians should faithfully pray to this end.
True hope is not in presidents or in voters, but in God, the sovereign Lord over creation.
The king's heart is like channels of water in the hands of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1 NASB)
Labels: Christian worldview