Just a few quick thoughts in light of what has happened over the past couple of months and especially in the aftermath of yesterday’s chaos in the Capitol and subsequent Electoral College vote confirmation (Jan. 6, 2021).
Anger and Violence
Regarding the riots and storming of the Capitol building; it was wrong. Whether it was a spontaneous action by those upset over the election or instigated by agitators or whatever, it was simply wrong.
“Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul” (Prov. 22:24, 25).
“A violent man entices his neighbor, and leads him in a way that is not good” (Prov. 16:29).
God Rules In The Kingdom of Men
About 2,600 years ago, God taught Nebuchadnezzar a powerful lesson that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Dan. 4:25). The context was Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogance in believing he was the power behind his rule. Instead, God humbled the king by causing him to live as a beast in the field, then bringing him back to the throne.
Imagine how this was for Daniel, his companions, and other faithful servants of God. They knew God ruled the world, but do you suppose they were in favor of having a pagan, Babylonian king ruling over them? I doubt that was their first choice. However, it is what God wanted and, therefore, it was the best and right thing.
Many of us do not want a Biden-Harris administration and see it as illegitimate due to reported election fraud. We are concerned about the actions they will take to further erode the culture and nation we love or even a direct assault on the religion of Christ.
While the situation of ancient Judah and Babylon is not parallel to 21st century America, the bottom line is God has given the “kingdom” to another ruler. We can be angry about that, stew over it, grumble and complain, or we can come to terms with it and press on.
Seek First The Kingdom of God
We have to keep our focus on the Kingdom of God (and that is not the United States).
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).
One of the warnings given in the parable of the sower is about being caught up with the “cares of this life” (Mk. 4:19). That can encompass many things, including politics. Yes, I believe the liberal, anti-God, pro-abortion, movement is a real threat to this nation and God’s people. However, politics is not the answer; it will not solve the problem. By the way, politics is a trailing indicator of where society is.
The solution to our nation’s problems is the gospel. Our culture is terribly rotted, worse than ever before, and the only counter-measure to that is the truth. The root of the issue is the degradation of the hearts and minds of men. Thus, improvement will happen when people submit to the Lord’s will in their lives, individually, one at a time.
The disciples of the first century were radical, but not political radicals. They turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6), but not by rioting; that was the behavior of the pagans (Acts 19:21-41). They turned the world upside down through dedication to the Way, relentless teaching of truth, boldness in confronting sin and error, and a clear call to submit to the Lord. For this, the world hated them (cf. Jn. 15:18-21).
Set Your Mind On Things Above
Instead of obsessing over politics, we need to obsess over the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Our focus needs to be on things above, not things on earth.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Col. 3:1-4).
Among the specific, earthly, sins Paul tells us to lay aside are anger, wrath, and malice (Col. 3:8). While we can and should have righteous indignation over sin, let us guard against crossing the line into sinful attitudes and actions.
Our hope, our faith, must be firmly fixed in the Lord and His truth, not in men and nations. Through faith, let us rise above the turmoil of the moment and stand firm in the gospel of Christ. Let us shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, holding fast the word of life, helping guide the lost to the Lord (Phil. 2:15, 16).
– Steven F. Deaton