One year from today our nation will inaugurate either the 45th President of the United States or Barack Obama for a second term. As a nation we face the most important presidential election of my 55 years (when I vote) on earth. Some would say in history. I would say it is a close second to the election of 1860, because our nation’s survival hung in the balance then.
So what should we look for in our next president? Too many of us, me included for the longest time, looked for perfection whether we want to admit it or not. The truth of the matter is we all have fatal flaws and none of us are truly fit for office, for too many reasons to list right now. I know it gets very confusing in this time of year, and that is one of the reasons we began Aletheia Group L.L.C.; to help discover the truth no matter where it leads.
In the end we must turn to God’s Word for guidance. Moses was facing a dilemma of leadership; he didn’t have enough of him to go around. His father-in-law Jethro gave him solid Biblical advice that we need to heed today.
“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” (Exodus 18:21)
So according to God’s Word there are three qualifications for public office: 1) Fear God; 2) Tell the Truth; and 3) Hate Covetousness. Pretty simple, right? I think so. So how do we apply these three qualifications to a candidate?
First, each candidate must possess a fear of God; one of awe and obedience to God’s laws. This means he or she understands that we all answer to God for our actions:
“My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments.” (Psalm 119:120)
This means that when we come face-to-face with our sins we tremble at the thought of standing before God with unrepentance in our hearts. We will be judged for our unrepentant sins. So as we look at our presidential candidates, it is not so much the life they lived, but the life they are currently living. Did this person learn from their past mistakes and turn to God for forgiveness, mercy, grace, and guidance? That is the question that must be asked.
The second qualification is truthfulness; also known as integrity. But Jethro was talking much more than human integrity. He was talking about integrity that comes from fearing the Lord. An integrity that causes man to rely on God for his strength, not himself. David explains it in his psalms:
“As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, and set me before Your face forever.” (Psalm 41:12)
I love this verse because it reminds me that I must constantly be reminded that I serve God, not man. This is how we uphold our integrity. Having a healthy fear of God and never forgetting that we answer to Him for our actions.
The third qualification is one who hates covetousness. We all know that the 10th Commandment forbids covetousness, but how does this sin manifest itself in men? A number of ways. One, it makes them power-hungry:
“For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.” (Psalm 10:3-4)
A covetousness leader is a fool who oppresses the people by abusing his power:
“A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, but he who hates covetousness will prolong his days.” (Proverbs 28:16)
There is a curse on the leader who covets power and wealth and the seemingly comfort it provides. No man can survive this and if he is leading a nation, he will take it down with him if allowed.
“Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of disaster! You give shameful counsel to your house, cutting off many peoples, and sin against your soul.” (Habakkuk 2:9-10)
Beloved, your vote is one paid for by the blood of many Americans. Your salvation was paid by the blood of Christ. To choose Christ is to choose eternity with Him. To choose our elected leaders as though we’re choosing the next American Idol is to choose a fool in most cases. Would to God that Americans understand the importance of our vote and that we will be held accountable to God for each one. I think the original Tea Party Leader Samuel Adams put it best:
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
Beloved, let us not enter the polling booth with a fear of the outcome of this election. Let us enter the polling booth and cast each vote with a fear and trembling of God.
To once again quote Samuel Adams cousin, John Quincy: “Duty is ours; the results are God’s”
Have a blessed weekend and please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers
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