I say this because no one can say for sure who will become President of the United States in 2016, least of all the pollsters. I say this because I see the hand of God moving in ways very much like he did in this episode of 2 Kings. The issue is how God chooses world leaders and, more importantly, our role as agents of God. Please read these three chapters before proceeding.
First, let’s look at the differences between ancient Israel and modern America (and Great Brexit, if I may).
Israel was a monarchy, as ordained by God of the Old Testament, to be run by kings who had a heart for God as big as King David. God spoke through his prophets when he hand-picked a king.
America, on the other hand, is a democratic republic, heavily influenced by God of the New Testament, the Creator who made all men equal. Today, God chooses leaders through the vote of free people, not a monarch who can dictate the rule of law. Historically, we have chosen some very good leaders and some very bad ones. Today, God speaks through the will of the people, those who love him and those who do not, often using the latter to bring judgment when needed.
Then what are the similarities? In Chapters 9 and 10, God uses the prophet Elisha to anoint Jehu as King. God’s assignment to Jehu is to exterminate the entire house of evil Ahab, including anyone that ever served with him in any capacity. Even though Jehu continues some practices that are evil in the sight of God, his offenses are minor compared to God command to completely eliminate the idolaters of false gods, especially Baal and his (false) prophets.
Similarly, God has used the American people instead of prophets to select Presidents assigned the task of combating idolatrous evil. Think Harry Truman, who arguably made the most difficult decision in history that ended World War II. He saved millions of lives on both sides, including my father, who was poised in Leyte, Philippines, for the all-out invasion of Japan. In many other respects, like Jehu, Truman was far from perfect, but he understood the highest moral priorities.
There is one more similarity: Jehu was chosen against all logic; no one saw it coming. The next American President may well be chosen by God in a most unusual way – at a disputed convention. We do not know, but it is possible.
So how will God choose our next President? He will use us. And we need to commit right now to opening our hearts to the whisper of the Holy Spirit as we watch these unpredictable events unfold.
We need to think of ourselves as tools in God’s hand and to take every part of the Democratic and Republican conventions deadly serious. We need to humble ourselves, and pray and seek God’s face, so that he will hear our hearts and heal our land.
Watch each player in this drama and keep asking a simple question: is this person hand-picked by God through my sacred vote?
Paul Ryan says, “Vote your conscience.” True.
And I say, “Vote as if your name were Elijah – not out of the political storm, but out of the whisper of God who still has never-ending love for this nation.