Who is ultimately in control?
By Tek & Goldie Chong
They despaired of seeing Obama or his possible successor Hilary Clinton destroy their christian values: supporting LBGT by floodlighting the White House with rainbow colours to celebrate same sex marriage, free abortion, anti-Israel, etc.
Polling figures showed that 40 % of evangelical American Christians said it was getting to be more and more difficult to live as Christians in America.
So when Trump became president many Christians both in America, as well as other parts of the world have hailed him as ‘ a man of God ‘ despatched to save the nation and even Christianity.
What do we think? Can we pin our hopes on him? Knowing his past record as a manipulative businessman, are we going to overlook his character flaws, his narcissistic behaviour, his shady business ethics, his past sexual exploits, etc.? Does character matter or do we only look at his achievements?
We thank God that Trump has indeed done some good things which God would have been pleased with: supporting Israel, nominating a conservative supreme high court judge, pushing back the LGBT agenda, etc.
Besides Trump, there are other world leaders who have brought hope to deteriorating countries, giving rise to elation that God has heard our prayers and that things are going to be well. But we should be alert that this may not be the case.
We see in history that God does use leaders as His agents to accomplish His purposes and some of these agents were unbelievers, sinners, flawed persons like Cyrus the Persian king, Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian king, Artaxerxes, king of Persia all showed favour to the Jews and carried out God’s intentions. God even used Balaam’s donkey as His agent.
So, what should be our attitude towards these leaders?
THE ULTIMATE STANDARD
We acknowledge their good deeds: observing law and order and restoring Biblical values, knowingly or unknowingly. God did use them to accomplish His will and we rejoice at the results. But we must not regard them as saviours, setting them up as worthy of our blind loyalty. Remember that God values a person’s character much more than his deeds.
He has made clear what He demands of a leader which focuses on the personal character of the person: ‘’the king must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself ….must not take many wives or his heart will be led astray….he must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold…..when he takes the throne…he is to write for himself… a copy of this law….it is to be with him and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and decrees…then he and his descendants will reign a long time….’’ Deuteronomy 17:14-20
GOD OR MAN?
We applaud a leader’s good actions, but we must also let our voice be heard when he goes against God’s laws. Obeying God even at the risk of great danger should be above obeying a leader’s authority as Peter declared when the Sanhedrin forbad him to preach (Acts 4:19). When we see a leader’s character flaws, we should pray for him to change.
We cannot pin our hopes on any person that he is going to be the saviour to solve our problems. We must remember he is only a human being with all the temptations that pressure him. Our comfort rests ultimately on God who is the one who is in control to raise or remove kings and leaders.
So it is wise of us to remember that America is seeing good happenings not because Trump is a great leader but that God stepped in because American Christians prayed and He heard as He promised: “ If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chron. 7:14
Importantly we must continue to pray for leaders, remembering Paul’s injunction to ‘’ pray for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.’’ 1 Tim.2:2