On the day when our nation will determine its next set of elected government officials, we, as God’s redeemed people through Christ, are grateful to know this: that though we vote as a nation, no person becomes a ruler or ceases to be a ruler apart from the active, sovereign hand of God. As the prophet Daniel said:
Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding (Daniel 2:20-21)
We are further comforted by the knowledge that the hearts of even the most powerful rulers in the world are subject to the sovereign involvement of the LORD: “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever he wishes.” (Proverbs 21:1). As the Scriptures show time and again – through Pharoah, king of Egypt (Exodus 10:1); through Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (Daniel 4:34-45); through both Cyrus and Darius, kings of Persia (Ezra 1:1; 6:22) – even the innermost thoughts and decisions of a king are completely under God’s divine rule. No President of the United States, or congressional representative, nor any other ruler, stands outside of God’s infinite capacity for directing all things.
In light of God’s sovereign rule, where then should we look for our help and our hope? Who is our shelter and our protection? We should remember the words of the Psalmist who said:
My help comes from the LORD
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:2-4)
We are most certainly blessed and thankful to have a say in who serves as our governmental authorities. And we are even more thankful when those authorities look out for what is right in God’s sight and beneficial to the church’s mission. But we also understand that these rulers are neither our ultimate defenders nor our saviors, and we remember the admonition in Psalm 146:
Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit departs, he returns to the earth;
In that very day his thoughts perish.
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps faith forever;
Who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free. (Psalm 146:3-7)
Knowing these things about our God and his complete and total rule over the kingdoms of the world give us the confidence and encouragement to anticipate and respond to the results of days like today with utter trust and comfort.
So as we act today – whether in our vote, in our words, or in the attention or response we give to the outcome of today’s elections – we remember these things, and find our constant and immovable hope in the character, promises, and working of the God who loves us with an unchanging love.