Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Elect Obama

1Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

Matthew Henry has quite a bit to say about this verse... Let's review.

Pray for kings (1Ti_2:2); though the kings at this time were heathens, enemies to Christianity, and persecutors of Christians, yet they must pray for them, because it is for the public good that there should be civil government, and proper persons entrusted with the administration of it, for whom therefore we ought to pray, yea, though we ourselves suffer under them. For kings, and all that are in authority, that is, inferior magistrates: we must pray for them, and we must give thanks for them, pray for their welfare and for the welfare of their kingdoms, and therefore must not plot against them, that in the peace thereof we may have peace, and give thanks for them and for the benefit we have under their government, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Here see what we must desire for kings, that God will so turn their hearts, and direct them and make use of them, that we under them may lead a quiet and peaceable life.
The desire of my heart is that God will so turn the desire of President Elect Obama's heart, and direct him and make use of him, that we may under him, lead a quiet and peaceable life.

He does not say, “that we may get preferments under them, grow rich, and be in honour and power under them;” no, the summit of the ambition of a good Christian is to lead a quiet and peaceable life, to get through the world unmolested in a low private station. We should desire that we and others may lead a peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, implying that we cannot expect to be kept quiet and peaceable unless we keep in all godliness and honesty. Let us mind our duty, and then we may expect to be taken under the protection both of God and the government.
I went to bed last night with the spirit of fear. I was thinking, "Oh God... the worst has happened. The long term repercussions of this decision will be devastating. 20-30 years from now we will have such a liberal slew of judges on the supreme court that it will not longer be operating as it should and we will be living under European law and decisions. Our economy may never be the same with the wealthy pushed out of our country by heavy taxation. Oh LORD, I'm so afraid." Then this verse came to mind. President Elect Obama needs my prayer. I wondered if when he was declared the winner, if he immediately felt the presence of the Lord wrapped around him as Christians every where began to pray for him as our next leader? I wondered if the Holy Spirit almost felt palpable to him and if he wondered at the feeling. I pray that as Christians we took this command to pray for our leaders seriously and we began to hold him up to the throne as he leads. He will begin leading today you know. President Bush has made it law to smooth the transition time. He has access to secret information today, and can begin to make appointments today. He is already our leader. We should begin praying for him today.

In all godliness and honesty. Here we have our duty as Christians summed up in two words: godliness, that is, the right worshipping of God; and honesty, that is, a good conduct towards all men. These two must go together; we are not truly honest if we are not godly, and do not render to God his due; and we are not truly godly if we are not honest, for God hates robbery for burnt-offering. Here we may observe, 1. Christians are to be men much given to prayer: they ought to abound herein, and should use themselves to prayers, supplications, etc.
I think it will be interesting to watch how Christians respond to this election. Will they act like Christians when they didn't get their way? What about the Christians that DID vote for President Elect Obama? How will they respond?

2. In our prayers we are to have a generous concern for others as well as for ourselves; we are to pray for all men, and to give thanks for all men; and must not confine our prayers nor thanksgiving to our own persons or families.
As I lay in bed last night, my thoughts traveled down the path of his family. He has a wife and 2 small girls. I prayed for their protection. It could be that they would grow up the next 8 years in the biggest fish bowl of the country. I prayed for their minds and that they would grow up to become godly women. I prayed for his wife, that she would be the best help meet that she knew to be. I prayed for their physical safety. I noticed the plastic shield around the stage last night. I still felt like they were very vulnerable from my birds eye view while watching on TV. May the Lord keep them safe in the palm of His hand while President Elect Obama is leading our country.

3. Prayer consists of various parts, of supplications, intercessions, and thanksgivings; for we must pray for the mercies we want, as well as be thankful for mercies already received; and we are to deprecate the judgments which our own sins or the sins of others have deserved.

I will be giving thanks with my family this morning for the opportunity to vote yesterday (or earlier actually) safely, quietly, with out coercion. I will be giving thanks for the freedoms this country affords still and thankging God for His word that gives us such specific commands on what to do -- even the day after an election day. I will be giving thanks for the many men and women who have given their lives in the various wars for my freedom today. I praise God for how he will be highlighted in the many years to come as we have to stand up for morals that we believe are vital to our walk with God, as I'm sure they will be challenged many times in the future. We will have an opportunity to declare, we love the Lord and we can not allow his name to be dishonored so. We love God and he created all things equally. We love God and we will not allow you to desecrate his creation in such a manner. We love the Lord and will honor Him in all we do. Thank you for those opportunities to come to give a reason for what we believe.

4. All men, yea, kings themselves, and those who are in authority, are to be prayed for. They want our prayers, for they have many difficulties to encounter, many snares to which their exalted stations expose them.
I'm going to pray that President Elect Obama will be humble, and seek advice of those around him, and that God will place godly men and women in his path and they will stand up with God's word and show the right way. One can always pray. Ü

5. In praying for our governors, we take the most likely course to lead a peaceable and quiet life. The Jews at Babylon were commanded to seek the peace of the city whither the Lord had caused them to be carried captives, and to pray to the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof they should have peace, Jer_29:7.
I think we have to keep in mind that the day we live in is not even so bad as what others are living in currently, or have lived in the past. But the truth still holds. We need to pray.

6. If we would lead a peaceable and quiet life, we must live in all godliness and honesty; we must do our duty to God and man. He that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile; let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it, 1Pe_3:10, 1Pe_3:11.
We Christians will show our stripes today by what we spew out of our mouths about the last 2 years of campaigning and the final results.

I know one thing for sure. Now is the time to fall on our faces before God and cry out for him mercy and grace. All the while -- holding up our leader before the throne.

God Help President Elect Obama!