I was a little apprehensive about waking up on Wednesday morning. After all, America had willingly elected the most liberal president in our history. As I opened one eye, I turned to my wife who was slightly more awake than I was and said, “Well, honey, we just elected a proud socialist as president and the sun still came up!” I was being a little facetious—but only a little.
For months there will be endless and minute examinations of what went wrong in this election. Conservatives will find numerous targets of blame and there will be enough people thrown under the proverbial “bus” to keep the ride bumpy for a long, long time. All of that is proper and necessary. Indeed, something went terribly wrong in the election. While continuing to vote for the sanctity of marriage in several key contests, Americans elected a president who will enthusiastically undermine that sacred union. While waving American flags and singing the national anthem—they elected someone who will probably undermine the flag and freedoms our national anthem praises. But the sun still came up. While I am deeply concerned about the future of America under the leadership of an Obama administration, I am far more concerned about another institution.
A friend of mine reminded me recently of an extremely important Biblical principle. When studying the history of God’s people you cannot escape one glaring truth—God’s people often survived poor and even evil kings. Jump into your time machine and open the door at just about any time you desire and you will find God’s people under the rule of a less than desirable government. Israel endured one evil king after another. The early church not only endured but flourished under the rule of a totally pagan and corrupt Roman civil government. Of course there was suffering and sacrifice during those regimes but God’s people survived. Here is what they could not survive: weak preaching and weak preachers! Israel suffered but survived the bad kings, but they totally self-destructed when the prophets and preachers compromised their message.
In my regular readings, I recently came across again the warnings God issued to the “shepherds” of Israel in Ezekiel 34. God reserves some of the harshest language in scripture for His prophets who compromised the message He had given them. “Thus saith the Lord God; behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand…” (v.10). God dealt with the kings (“the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord” Prov. 21:1) and put one up and put another down. God reserved his most severe criticism for the preachers of the day, the pulpit.
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