Sovereignty, Civic Duty, and Gideon

I am not responsible for the outcome of this presidential election, but I am responsible for my actions in it.

Gideon was not responsible for the outcome of the war with the Midianites, but he was responsible for his actions, for whether or not he trusted and obeyed God. God told Gideon to send home most of his army, to keep only 300 men to fight over a hundred thousand Midianites. Nasty odds, right? Gideon could have rationalized and decided that he needed to look out for the future and be sure he had at least a fighting chance – but he didn’t. He sent those “extra” men home and went to battle with only 300. In case you are wondering, that’s a ratio of more than 300 Midianites to each Israelite. 029-moody-gideon-midianites

Now, it is true that, unlike Gideon, I’ve not had a direct and specific message from God telling me which candidate to vote or not vote for. But I do have the living word of God in my hands. While it might not give an exact answer to this current problem, it does hold wisdom applicable to any situation. As an American and a Christian I have both a civic duty and a spiritual one – to examine the candidates in the light of Scripture and to vote accordingly.

Joshua made a mistake with the Gibeonites. Instead of doing research and seeking God’s will, he made a judgement based on his own wisdom and took the word of a stranger as truth. And it turned out that the Gibeonites were lying, they didn’t live far, far away. They lived next door. But it was too late by the time Joshua found out. He had already signed a treaty with them. If I do not search out the Scriptures and see how the candidate I plan to vote for measures up to God’s standard -before I vote, then I am as foolish as Joshua.

“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” -Ephesians 5:3-10

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.'” -2 Corinthians 6:14-18

It is very tempting to go with the “lesser of two evils” and decide who to vote for based on who I dislike less, but (following that logic) I would still be voting for evil. I simply cannot do that.

As an American, I have the right to vote however I choose. As a Christian, I have the freedom to rest in God’s sovereignty and stand for what I believe in. And if Gideon could trust God and plunge into a battle he had no statistical hope of winning, then I should be able to trust God with my vote.

No matter who wins the election, the Maker of heaven and earth will still be in control.

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, ‘As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.’ I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” -Psalm 2

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