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A Reassuring Psalm For An Uncertain Election Year (Psalm 144)

by Bob Russell

(Gleaned from www.bobrussell.org)

There’s almost always some national unrest during an election year but there seems to be an inordinate uncertainty this year. With only a few weeks until the election, the presidential race is closely contested and it’s obvious that our country is about evenly divided on whom to choose as the next President.

Candidates from both parties make promises and though everyone wants to see improvement, most are a little apprehensive about how those promises will play out. How much will the new health care plan affect taxes and choice of physician? Will gasoline prices continue to rise? Will we be more vulnerable to continued terrorist attacks? The national uneasiness is understandable. Frankly, I’m uneasy too!

Psalm 144 reminds us of several spiritual principles that should help bring a sense of stability to our lives in these unstable times. The first is this: Don’t get too enamored with a political leader—reserve your highest praise for God.

“Praise be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge…” (verses 1-2).

If I’m not careful I can get too hyped up over politicians who make outrageous promises that probably won’t be kept. Our ultimate praise is reserved for God who always keeps His word. While I believe this election is really important because the candidates represent two dramatically different directions for our country, it probably doesn’t matter nearly as much as I imagine. Although the next President will certainly have an impact on our immediate future, he will ultimately be a pawn in the mighty hand of God, “who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword” (verse 10).

Similar counsel is repeated in Psalm 146:3-4: “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.

When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.”

Secondly, Don’t get too focused on this world—fix your eyes on the eternal goal. “O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow” (Psalm 144: 3-4).

Before you get too concerned about how this election is going to affect your present life style remember you will die soon and what will matter then is not who you voted for but who you lived for. This world is not your home so keep an eternal perspective. Remember that chorus? “Turn your eyes upon Jesus look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”

Finally, Don’t put too much reliance on a party platform for national blessing—put your trust in righteousness. There is a big difference in the platforms of the two parties this year and believers need to be familiar with what the candidates stand for before going into the voting booth. But there’s an eternal platform that is more important. “Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 144: 15).
 
If you’re a conservative remember: it’s not big government that’s the enemy, it’s sin.

If you’re more liberal remember: it’s not the government that saves, it’s God. God promises to bless the nation that honors Him. He would have spared Sodom for ten righteous people and God will bless America if just a remnant of righteous people will genuinely seek His will. Regardless of who occupies the White House God can still deliver us from our enemies (verse 11), He can still protect and honor our children (verse 12), He can still grant economic prosperity (verse 13) and He can still bring peace to our streets (verse 14) IF we live as He has commanded.

An election year is a good time for Christians to reread Psalm 144 and be reminded that our hope is not in this world but in the Creator of this world. Our trust isn’t in a nation but in the One who is Sovereign over all nations. Our devotion isn’t reserved for an earthly leader but for the King of kings and, regardless of what political party presently wields the most power, our God still reigns. Therefore we will not fear but we will stand firm because we are standing on the Rock of Ages.

-Bob Russell is the  retired Minister  of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY

 




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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4