You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken! (Ezekiel 20:44)
Relate: As I sit down to my computer and begin to write this the presidential election in America is drawing to a close. Although the winner has not yet been called, I fully expect that before I click that blue “Publish” button it will be decided. Even now it is obvious who will win. I have to admit, my first thought for a title for today’s blog was to use the exact same one as yesterday. Is it kosher to title two straight devotionals: “When Disaster Strikes”?
I do not like the man who is about to take office. I do not even respect him. I know what it is like to live in a land where an unhinged megalomaniac holds the reigns of power. Do I think things in America will become as bad as they are here? No. Not a chance. I do believe, however, that God is in a sense saying to America, “You’ve made your bed.. now sleep in it.” Before anybody thinks I am being partisan and/or alarmist please understand, even if this election was going the other way, I believe I could write these exact same two paragraphs and mean them with the same amount of sincerity and truth.
I don’t blame the political process or the machinations of the DNC and RNC for this horrible choice we were offered. I do not blame the media for giving legitimacy for such farces. I don’t blame wikileaks or the illuminati or… well, really anything. This presidential election has been a two year long media circus that all of us, myself included, are responsible. We have had far too much time and plenty of opportunities to create for ourselves a different outcome. We complain how childish and petty these debates have seemed to become but are they really any better than the overabundance of petty and childish bickering and debate on social media that all of us, myself included, have participated in? We have fashioned leaders in our own image. We made the bed… now it is time to sleep in it.
React: In Ezekiel 20 God speaks to the leaders of Israel who are stuck between a rock and a hard place and says in essence, “Don’t expect any help from me.” He then goes further to say why: I promised that I would be your God and deliver you from Egypt (5) but you rebelled against me (8). I didn’t give them what they deserved but chose to protect the honor of my Name (9) but still they rebelled against me (13). Still, for the sake of the world I held back the judgment they deserved (14) and then even their children rebelled against me (21). So finally, I left them to their devices (26).
From verse 27 right through to 44 God is basically telling them that the judgment and destruction that has come was really something they have asked for. Over and over again He showed them that there was a better way but they didn’t want it. Finally, He is allowing them to experience the consequences of their desires so that they might come to their senses and return to Him. I hear over and over again things along the lines of “whoever gets into office is the exact person God wants to be there.” Yes and no. Think about it. God doesn’t want any to perish but all to come to repentance and yet there are some that will perish and not repent. God does not want me to sin and yet, I do so far too often. Ezekiel 20 demonstrates that what is true on an individual basis is also true on a collective one. What God desires good for a people, but He will not always override their will to accomplish it. Is Trump God’s will for America in 2016? Yes, only through the fact that God desires us to exercise our free will and make choices… even dumb ones. I believe God is saying now to America the same thing He was saying to Israel in Ezekiel 20: “You made the bed, now sleep in it.” We can only pray that as we experience the consequences of our poor choices that it will lead us to return to Him. Let us now beg God to honor His name and show us mercy in spite of our wickedness.
First and foremost, I pray for the man you have allowed to become the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. I pray that as the weight of responsibility begins to settle on him that he would realize how dependant he must be on You to govern well. I pray blessing on him. Give him wisdom to do what is right in the days ahead. I pray mercy and blessing for America. God, please honor Your name by using somehow this circus of evil that was this past election cycle to shock people to their senses and return to You. Give us mercy that You might be glorified.