God and Government

Every two years we have local elections, every four years, general elections. And just the sound of the word “election” is enough to make many people cringe.

Even those who love all things political look forward to answering their telephones without wondering if it is someone asking for their vote.

An interesting twist on an election is the very word itself, which means simply, the act of choosing. In a democratic form of government, the word refers to the voters’ choices, but ironically, the Bible’s use of the word is quite different. Each of the eighteen times the word is used in its various forms it refers to the choices God makes. Jesus uses “the elect” as a synonym for “God’s people” (Matthew 24:22, 24), and the Apostle Paul speaks of God’s choice of believers as the process or act of “election” (Romans 9:11; 11:28).

This is a hard saying for those of us who live in the very cradle of liberty and value our rights so highly. What do we think when we read, “You have not chosen me; I have chosen you” (John 15:16) and “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14)?

The reality is that in ways we can not now understand, human and divine choices intersect. The result destroys neither human volition nor divine sovereignty, although we must wait for God to tell us just how it all works. (For a hint, you might check out Acts 4:27, 28 and Genesis 50:20.)

All that to say merely that regardless of your vote on November 3rd, and whether or not your chosen one was / will be elected, God’s purposes still stand. And while it is obvious that our system of voting has become corrupt and compromised in places, behind all of the politics, cover-ups, and litigation, there is a God who orders everything after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11).

It is this God who once told the leader of the civilized word, “For this purpose have I raised you up, that I might show you my power, so that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth,” (Exodus 9:16), and brought still another king to confess that “the Most High rules the kingdom of men, and He gives it to whom He will” (Daniel 4:25).

“Jesus answered, ‘You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.'”
John 19:11

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