This election business has stirred me up lately. Partly because I can’t escape it. It’s everywhere and everyone’s talking about it. And I think we all feel the same things: both hope and disappointment, both excitement and dread. We see two men who promise to finally set things right, but we know that no one in the past has ever come close. And I can’t help but know that neither of our two new candidates will come close either.
I think that Romney and Obama are probably both good men. I really don’t think that one is better than the other as far as just being a person. I actually think that they both want what’s best for our country and just have different ideas of how to get there.
I also think that they’ve both been lying about some things to get our votes.
We all know why people pick a particular candidate and want him to win. Because of what he promises – what we believe will change when he takes office. Politicians know this is how we think, so, I hate to be the one to say it, but they pander. They pander to get our votes. They promise things they know they can’t necessarily deliver. They promise peace, more jobs, prosperity, better social values, better education and equality. Our hearts stir when we hear those things because we want them. We want to live in a safe, peaceful, prosperous place.
It’s not wrong to want those things. In fact, I think we were created to want them.
But I think that our desire is misplaced. We were created for a perfect world and we so badly want America to be it. We think that if we just get the right president, the right congress and the right laws that America will be back to those glory days we’ve always heard about. The wars will stop, we’ll all have jobs and money and social justice. Maybe my statement seems far-fetched. Maybe you say that no one thinks that way, but look around you. This is why we get so impassioned about political causes and candidates. We think that if only we could fix abortion, health care, the economy, the wars, gay marriage, that everything would be like it’s supposed to.
Hate to rain on this picture perfect, all-American parade, but we can’t fix those things. Politicians can’t fix those things. No one on earth can fix those things. Our politicians may be able to get some laws passed, but they’re not going to change the human condition. A piece of paper will not change anyone’s heart. There will still be murders, wars, abortions, gay relationships and financial problems.
WE. LIVE. IN. A. FALLEN. WORLD.
Politicians are always going to promise to change that, but they can’t. Yet we still expect a fallen person to take a fallen world full of fallen people and make it all perfect.
This concept isn’t so new. I see it in the Bible. Before the days of King Saul and King David, the nation of Israel was actually a theocracy. God was the king of the nation, using the leader Saul to speak to the people. Eventually Saul got older, and his sons took over. But his sons were evil, and people started to complain. They thought they could somehow solve this problem by getting a real, human king, just like all the other nations. When the people said this, God flat-out said that they had rejected Him as their King.
But He gave them a King anyway, and warned them of what would happen. The King would send their sons off to war, tax them, take their stuff unfairly and give it to his servants. Sound familiar?
That story in 1 Samuel 8 is still happening right now. Back then, Israel was God’s one chosen nation. Today, God’s chosen nation is Christians everywhere (let’s make sure we get this straight: America is NOT God’s nation or God’s people. Christians in America and around the world are God’s people). So here we are, God’s people, in a fallen nation that is not His, begging, just like Israel for a human King that will solve all our problems.
And it’s not always a president or a politician that we want.We want the right pastor, the right role model, the right spouse, the right friends, the right celebrities. We want Billy Graham, Tim Tebow, Francis Chan and David Platt. We want Christians to be in prominent places in the world and in our lives so they can fix our problems, turn this mess around and save us. We’re still crying out for that fallen person to fix this fallen world. They can’t do it.
But one day, we’ll have that perfect world. There will be peace, justice, love, equality and freedom. And we’ll have that perfect Leader that we’ve always wished we could have here on earth. We’ll be able to say, “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15). He’ll never change, and everyone will follow Him. What’s more, it won’t be a forced, because our hearts will be right. We won’t need laws because our hearts will be right.
That’s the world we were created for, and one day those who follow Christ will live there. We’ll have a government that works, and a Ruler who doesn’t lie, pander or make false promises. We’ll have a Ruler who loves everyone equally, who destroys poverty, injustice, wars and evil.
There’s a reason you want your earthly politicians to succeed. Because deep down, you have a longing for a perfect King who will make everything right. And He will. He’ll make everything right at the right time. Just hold out. I’m not suggesting that we stop voting or become anarchists, but that we simply stop putting our hope in the people and the systems of this world.
We’re in exile now, in a world that’s just a tease. But the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord. Don’t reject God by expecting a human King to solve our problems.
Hold out. He’s coming to rule the world that we were created for.
Until I die I’ll sing these songs On the shores of Babylon Still looking for a home In a world where I belong Where the weak are finally strong
Where the righteous right the wrongs Still looking for a home In a world where I belong And when I reach the other side
I want to look You in the eye And know that I’ve arrived In a world where I belong
-Where I Belong, Switchfoot