A Psalm for an Election Year

I have gone “blog quiet” for weeks . . . and my first post to break the silence is political???

Not really. Don’t click “delete” yet . . .

1917148_1114527731905586_1998735829395602311_nI have been reading Tim and Kathy Keller’s devotional on the Psalms, and “it just so happened” (yes, that is tongue-in-cheek) that we were on Psalm 33 during the week of “Super Tuesday” primary elections, and Virginia, where I live, was holding primary elections. Politics has been in the news non-stop.  Social media is rife with postings and tweets and opinions and warnings. . .what do we do with all of “this?”

Psalm 33 English Standard Version (ESV)

1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
4 For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

The very first thing to do, is to praise our great God. Give Him thanks — even if you don’t own a lyre or harp; even if you only have one partially-working vocal cord so “making melody” is no longer an option. Give thanks because God is perfect and holy. Give thanks because you can trust that ALL His work is done in faithfulness. Give thanks because His steadfast love exists. Give thanks because He is righteous and just. Give thanks because HE IS GOD.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

As if we need a reason, or proof of God’s “worth” to praise and trust Him. When God speaks, it happens. Period.
10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.

And here begins the “why” I said this is a psalm for an election year. . .we can be thankful for God and His Word. We can trust that God’s sovereignty will prevail.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
13 The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.

God is on His throne — His seat of power and authority. He is not merely a passive spectator of world events. He is the Creator.

16 The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.

17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

Here is the reality — governments and rulers and regimes and powers come and go, rise and fall. They always have. The one constant is that God has always had faithful followers, and He has always preserved them. When I say “always preserved” I am not discounting martyrs, or suffering, or adversity. But here is the reality — even death is not destruction. Death is “absent from the body and present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Much of the New Testament was written under cruel and ungodly governments, where religious liberty was non-existent. We in America have lived under a wide range of liberties and comforts. If that begins to change, will God still be God? In what is our trust, really?
20 Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Our hope must be in God and His faithfulness. No elected official can save us. No government can save us. Yes, we must advocate for justice, and support righteousness, and promote peace. We must be good citizens and pray for our leaders (Romans 13 comes to mind), whether or not they are actively following God’s ways. We don’t know all the details of God’s sovereign plan, and how He will use current events to accomplish His purposes.

But we can trust His holy name. We can be thankful. We can give Him glory. We can tell others that He is the ultimate answer. That’s what we can do.

And then trust God to be God . . .

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