Judges 8:23 | Vote for …
It seems we are always in a political season and a new president will be elected soon. The choice at this point in the race makes some angry and some excited. The emotion that some have wrapped up in the candidates is greater than even those that follow sports teams in devotion. There is no logic or reason for many because it is all about party affiliation. Logical strawmen have been constructed and the opponent must be demonized and dehumanized so the hate can spew forth. None of the candidates are moral people. They all crave power and earthly temporary success or transformation. Their followers may stand to benefit financially or otherwise if elected but in the end all of it is temporary. Who would Jesus vote for? He may well have a vote choice but in the end there is only one King and it is not these candidates.
Be My King
Sometimes however there is a leader so universally loved that the people unanimously call for that person to be the leader. Hollywood movies love this kind of story. Gideon was successful enough as a general freeing Israel from the surrounding aggressors that the people wanted him to be more than a judge they wanted him to be more than even Moses. They wanted him to be a king.
23 Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you.” Judges 8:23 ESV
Who is Your Ruler?
The people wanted to Gideon to rule so that his success would be passed onto them so they could say to the surrounding nations “Look there is our King he is greater than your king that died at his hands”. Gideon rejected this advance because he knows that the success that was achieved with just 300 men was done to give God glory. Gideon tried to remind the people that God would be their king and ruler. It was God that saved them. It was God that provided for them. The same is true today. Do you want a Democrat or a Republican to be your ruler? Will Jesus vote for your candiate? Or do you trust Christ as the king of Kings? The Bible narrative tells us that the nation of Israel continued to ask for a ruler so they could be like other nations.
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 1 Samuel 8:4-5 ESV
Is God Not Enough?
Samuel a prophet who is judge over Israel is advancing in years so the people come to him and tell him to appoint a King as successor. When Samuel inquires to the Lord for their request God agrees but it is not His desire or plan for the people.
7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 1 Samuel 8:7 ESV
Government is Not God
How many Christians look to the government and politicians to save them, to guide them, or to provide for them? God never intended for government to be our King. That is His role. Is God not our heavenly Father providing all that we need? Why do we look first and only to government and the corrupt people running it to provide for our needs? Certainly the government has a role and we need a judge to maintain law and order but the emotional view of our doom or salvation being based on who is in office is the height of unfaithfulness to God. Look at God’s warning to the people who demanded a King.
10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 1 Samuel 8:10-18 ESV
People Want a King
Why can we not put our trust in God to raise up people to lead when the time has need? Even Americans have not learned. Americans should be the first to understand that no kings are necessary and Government is not our salvation. Even in the time of Christ they wanted a King to rule over them.
15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. John 6:15 ESV
God is the Only King
And why did the people plan to make Jesus King right there even risking war with Rome? Because they were focused on the temporary things of now. Jesus had just served food to the five thousand with only a few loaves and the people wanted that kind of power to be theirs. Is that not how politics work? Feed us and care for us. Lead us in battle. Make us successful. All the while God is there and able to do all those things without any of the people who are trying to be elected.
Go and vote this year maybe Jesus has a candidate that you feel is the best choice. Pick the candidate that speaks in alignment with your values or pick the candidate that will do the least harm. But do not look to any man or woman to save the country, laws, values, or whatever is most dear because that comes from God and God alone. The fact is that we already have a King His name is Jesus.
16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelations 19:16 ESV
Thanks for reading. I pray we would all stop looking to men for salvation but that we would turn to God first.
[…] was asked to be King and he refused reminding the people of Israel that their King is God and God alone. After Gideon’s death one of […]