Today is Voting Day in the United States of America. And it feels rather anticlimactic.
I’m really quite over this year’s campaign cycle with all of its scandal and intrigue. I already voted last week. And I get to watch a little cutie participate in his first spelling bee tonight instead of watching the results, so I couldn’t be more content.
Writing a blog post about Election Day was not on my to-do list.
But as I meditated on God’s word yesterday morning, I noticed a few things that I hope will be an encouragement to those still in the throes of political angst and fear.
Isaiah 40:15 says:
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
My husband and I (along with countless other believers throughout the ages) have loved Isaiah chapter 40 for the way it weighs things on God’s scales in order to give us a hint at just how big God is and how tiny we (and all of our cares) really are.
If “the nations” (meaning far more than just the US of A) are like a drop from a bucket, a speck of dust on the scales, then how much do you think a single leader from a single country affects God? I’m inclined to think He’s not impressed by them in the slightest and wouldn’t even take notice of them except that He chooses to.
This means that none of what is happening right now moves God—none of it surprises Him or causes Him concern as though He would think, “Oh no, how will My plans prevail now?”
Not even the “most powerful man [or woman] on earth” shows up on His scales.
And yet He condescends to care for the lowly. Chew on that for a moment. Or a lifetime.
Even when we know these things it’s still hard sometimes not to wonder at God’s apparent “absence” from the affairs of men. Why won’t He stand in the way when the wicked are rising to power? Why won’t He bring justice swiftly?
Sometimes I think we don’t quite know what we’re asking for. These are hard questions, and their answers are ultimately beyond my ability to give, but I do know that God has promised to bring justice one day.
God’s tarrying, His apparent restraint of His power in the here-and-now, is due to His great patience, as we see in 2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow about His promise [to bring final judgment and restoration], as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
And let’s not forget that following the depravity described in Romans chapter one we find this challenging question in chapter two:
Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
So how many of the wicked, corrupt leaders of our day is He planning on bringing to repentance? There is some hope for them in God’s patience—and if for them, how much more for the common man?
When we beg God for justice against the wicked, we are asking for Him to bring His judgment—a relief to those who trust Him, whose sins are forgiven … and the ultimate horror to those who do not, who persist in their sin and have not turned to Him. Romans 9:22-24 gives us just a peak into the relationship between God’s wrath and His patience, His justice and His mercy:
What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
God’s patience is a tremendous good to those who turn to Him, but it means greater judgment to those who continue to spurn Him and harden their hearts like Pharaoh did in the days of Moses.
Bringing this back down from the lofty heights of theology, how does this affect those of us twiddling our thumbs as we await tonight’s election results? I have a few questions for consideration:
Should God be patient, restraining Himself even when the wicked rise to power?
Or should He somehow “rig” our elections so that we can live as comfortably as possible?
Is there perhaps more at stake in His game plan than we can see from our limited vantage point?
Can a speck of a speck or a drop of a drop tell the One who uses the earth as a footstool how it should go down?
Does the worry of a grain of sand change the tides of the ocean?
I’m praying we can rest in the justice, mercy, and sheer hugeness of our great God.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.