Dear friends, Less both sides Forget God Rules in this Election!
“Sovereignty, God’s sovereignty, is one of the most difficult things for people of faith to live out in everyday routines. But we have no choice: God is Sovereign. God rules not only in our personal affairs but in the cosmos. Not only in our times and places of worship but in office buildings, political affairs, factories, universities, hospitals – yes, even behind the scenes in saloons and rock concerts. It’s a wild and extravagant notion, to be
“Yet not much in our daily experience confirms it. Impersonal forces and arrogant egos compete for the last word in power. Most of us are knocked around much of the time by forces and wills that give no hint of God. Still, generation after generation, men and women of sound mind continue to give sober witness to God’s sovereign rule. One of the enduring titles given to Jesus is “King”.
“So how do we manage to live believingly and obediently in and under this revealed sovereignty in a world that is mostly either ignorant or defiant of it?
“Worship shaped by an obedient reading of Scripture is basic. We submit to having our imaginations and behaviors conditioned by the reality of God rather than by what is handed out in school curricula and media reporting. In the course of this worshipful listening, the books of Kings turn out to provide essential data on what we can expect as we live under God’s sovereign rule.
“The story of our ancestors, the Hebrew kings, began in the books of Samuel. This story makes it clear that it was not God’s idea that the Hebrews have a king, but since they insisted, He let them have their way. But God never abdicated His sovereignty to any of the Hebrew kings; the idea was that they would represent sovereignty, not that He would delegate His sovereignty to them.
“But it never worked very well. After five hundred years and something over forty kings, there was not much to show for it. Even the bright spots – David and Hezekiah and Josiah – were not bright.
Human beings, no matter how well intentioned or gifted, don’t’ seem to be able to represent God’s rule anywhere close to satisfactory. The books of Kings, in that light, are a five-hundred-year documentation proving that the Hebrew demand of God to “have a king” was about the worst thing they could have asked for.
“But through the centuries, readers of this text have commonly realized something else: In the midst of the incredible mess these kings are making of God’s purposes, God continues to work His purposes and in the work – doesn’t discard them, doesn’t detour around them, He uses them. They are part of His sovereign rule, whether they want to be or not, whether they know it or not. God’s purposes worked out in confrontation and revelation, in judgement and salvation, but they are worked out.
God’s rule is not imposed in the sense that He forces each man and woman into absolute conformity to justice and truth and righteousness. The rule is worked from within, much of the time invisible and unnoticed but always patiently and resolutely The books of Kings provide a premier witness to the sovereignty of God carried out among some of the most unlikely and uncooperative people who have ever lived.
“The benefit of reading these books is enormous. To being with, our understanding and experience of God’s sovereignty develops counter to all power-based and piety-based assumptions regarding God’s effective rule. We quit spinning our wheels on utopian projects and dreams. Following that, we begin to realize that if God’s sovereignty as it is being exercised (though often silently and hiddenly) in all the circumstantial details of the actual present.”
This is Eugene Peterson introduction to kings in the Message Bible.
Shalom to all of us, Jim