I have been troubled to hear Christians saying:
· “I’m sitting out these elections. It seems that God is bringing judgment on this country in light of the two candidates we have to choose from.”
I am troubled by this response for many reasons. While it might be true that God wants to judge this nation (and perhaps even the rest of this world), our responsibilities are clear. We have to seek the welcome of our communities and even our nations.
This was the message that God had given Jeremiah deliver to the Jews in their painful and humiliating exile in Babylon. They were instructed to seek the welcome of that unrighteous town.
Even when God told Moses that He would destroy the nation of Israel and create a new nation from Moses (Exodus 32:10), Moses didn’t say. “Well, if that’s your will, then do it. I won’t oppose that.” Instead, Moses understood the role to which he had been called and intervened in favor of Israel:
· But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’” And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people. (Exodus 32:11-14)
We too have a role to play – that of the light of the world. We have to, therefore, ask of ourselves, “Which candidate has the policies that will best protect the innocent and promote justice and welfare?”
Jesus told a revealing parable about a Good Samaritan. The religious leadership passed by a bleeding man lying in the side of the road without offering the slightest assistance. We would be tempted to think, “Evidently, this mugging had occurred because God had allowed it. Evidently, this man’s karma was bad and he received just what he deserved.”
However, such thinking didn’t enter into Jesus’ parable. Instead, this was a man who clearly needed help. That is what mattered, not his karma.
Let’s apply this to our own nation. Our nation is bleeding. Our job is not to consider its karma or what it might deserve in God’s eyes. Our job is to stem the bleeding.
Mordecai knew of Haman’s plans to exterminate the Jews, and he did something about it, even asking Esther to risk her life. He could have instead thought to himself,
· “Evidently, the Jewish people deserve this. After all, we had been condemned into exile for our sins, and then we failed to return to Israel along with the other exiles. Instead, we became comfortable in the land of the Persians and didn’t want to give up our comforts to return as pioneers to the Promised Land. Perhaps we deserve the punishment that Haman wishes to bring upon us. So let’s just allow the chips to fall where they may.”
However, Mordecai knew his duty and intervened to save his people Israel. He would leave the rest up to God.
We Christians cannot abandon the political arena or any other arena. Instead, our duty is to shine the light of Christ in whatever arena God might have placed us. Voting is one arena that we should not ignore.