2 Kings 8:16-18 – “In the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, when Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, began to reign. He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.”
As you read through 1 and 2 Kings, you see the roller coaster of good and evil in the kings of Israel and Judah. Most of the kings were described similarly to Joram, the son of Ahab. They did evil in the sight of the Lord. The leadership was evil, and the people were evil. That describes a great deal of the period between David and Jesus. Of course, God maintained a remnant of people that were committed to Him, but most of the people living in Israel and Judah were opposed to God.
There is an age-old leadership truth that says that the people go where the leader takes them. When the leader is evil, the people will become evil. When the leader is good and honorable, the people will eventually follow and become good and honorable. While this is very much a true teaching of leadership, there is a reality that existed in the OT, within God’s sovereignty, that the people got what they wanted. The people were evil, so therefore God gave them an evil king.
As we sit here in October, 2016 just weeks before a presidential election, I find it very interesting to see our candidates for President. The United States of America is a democracy. Being a democracy, we have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. What that says is that we, as a nation, choose our president. We choose our supreme earthly leader. As a democracy, who we elect as president will reveal a lot about who we are as a nation.
You can speak to a rigged political process all you want. But being a democracy, the two candidates that are the most likely to win the election have been chosen by the people. Both candidates have moral and ethical scandals abounding in their past. Neither candidate has given the people of the United States a lot of information to show us that they can be trusted to lead a nation. And watching the two candidates debate reminds us of a Junior High argument.
What we need to realize is that the ethical and moral state of these two candidates is a good representation of our nation. As hard as that may be to say, I believe this is a good reminder to us that we are sinful, broken people in desperate need for God to redeem us. We are a nation in need of a revival. We are a nation in need of a dramatic move of God in order for us to be a people driven by that which God is most passionate. Of course there are good things happening in this nation. And of course both candidates have some drive within them to serve the people of the United States. And of course there are good things that people are doing. But this climate shows us our need for Jesus.
May we be a people not driven by politics or by a specific candidate. May we be a people driven by the heart of God. May we be a people who are broken by that which breaks God’s heart. May we be a people that sees political, racial, and sexual division eliminated by the power of the reconciled Christ. May we be a people who humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways so that we will hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14)!