As I write this, around 10:00 PM, it looks pretty much like Barack Obama is going to be the next President of the United States. While the tally is not complete, most of the networks are pretty much conceding the point. Personally, as I age, I just don’t seem to get as worked up as I used to about the election. I remember in years past staying up to the early hours of the morning to see all the results come in. But I believe I am going to go to bed, and sleep well, knowing God is sovereign.
I voted today, and I hope you did as well. Whether you are in favor of the outcome or not, now that the election is over, the Scriptures are clear about the response of every Christian. We are to support and pray for our leaders.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” I Timothy 2:1-2
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as peopel who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:13-17
The interesting thing about these passages is that both Paul in 1 Timothy and Peter in 1 Peter are probably referring to Nero when they speak of the emperor. Nero was a nut job who eventually burned down Rome and blamed it on Christians, which led to an outbreak of persecution. Eventually the very man these two commissioned followers of Jesus to pray for, honor, and obey would behead both Paul and Peter.
The Scriptures are clear! We are to pray for current President Bush and incoming President Obama. We are to honor both men, and all other leaders. We are to live as good citizens of our nation, and refrain from evil talk, gossip, or hate toward any of these men. And, we are to understand that we, as followers of Jesus, are citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven, and that our eternal King is sovereign over all events in the world, and over the leaders who govern.
Time to go to bed. I am going to run upstairs, flip on the TV to see a few final results, hug my wife, and spend a moment praying for the next President of the United States. Join me!