Weaning From ‘Egypt’ is Painful

Friend,

Some of you know me quite well, others of you less so. I’ve been quite busy today counseling distraught conservatives and the occasional gloating liberal and as a result I have not yet had the ability to read what bloggers and pundits have to say about the results of the election. Regardless, I presently find myself with a few minutes to jot down my thoughts, and I want to share them with you. You see, after a day of dealing with a lot of “boohooing” I can scarcely contain myself and I want to share with you why I am satisfied with the way the election panned out. I am satisfied because God in his sovereignty has appointed Barack Obama to be the President of the United States for another four years.

You may take umbrage at that notion, but let me explain… I am reminded of the Biblical passages that speak of God’s sovereignty over the affairs of the nations. Numerous examples could be cited, but perhaps none more succinctly states the fact than the word of the angel to Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:17 in which we are reminded that “the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.” So much for the humanistic notion of governments deriving their authority from “the consent of the governed.” We have a God who reigns and in his providential ruling he raises up leaders ranging from Pharaoh, to Nebuchadnezzar, to Cyrus, to Alexander, to Caesar… to President Obama. While we consider it a cherished right to grumble against our officials, how can I biblically resent the decree of God in appointing Obama when we are told that indignant accusatory questioning of God’s will is off limits? Indeed, the astonishing freedom of God in his sovereignty is on full display when we are told in Daniel 4:35 that “all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’”

So I am satisfied that God has appointed whom he willed to appoint. But more than that, I rejoice because this appointment is not an act of malevolence, at least not towards His people! You see, God rules the nations by his Anointed One. His name is Jesus, and he is King. And he will reign until all his enemies have been subdued.  Furthermore, as we see in Ephesians 1:22, the remarkable truth is that Jesus is supreme over every power, every ruler, every authority, every circumstance… for the benefit and good of the church! So the obvious, unavoidable, unequivocal bottom line is that King Jesus, in exercising his sovereignty for the good of the church, has raised up and appointed Barack Obama to be the president of the United States!

For some, that may be a hard pill to swallow. Indeed, Christian morality is mocked, ridiculed, and rejected on nearly every front. Indeed, just yesterday a soldier rolled his eyes at me when I had the backwards idea that it is wrong to view pornography. Further, many have protested that “Obamacare” infringes upon religious liberty by requiring institutions to provide various contraceptive and abortion services which are contra their beliefs. In the face of diminished influence, being subject tomockery, and an encroaching government, how can I maintain that King Jesus is seeking the good of the church by his appointment of Obama?

Incidentally, I recently preached a sermon from the book of Exodus that (I believe) has some bearing on this apparent dilemma. At the beginning of the book we see the Hebrews afflicted under the hand of Pharaoh. It is tempting to think that these Hebrews were faithful followers of the Lord who patiently endured their suffering. But alas, in verses 6-10 of the 20th chapter of the book of Ezekiel we learn the truth: the Hebrews had essentially gone native. What was important to the Egyptians (typified in their gods) had become important to the Hebrews! With that in mind, we turn to the famous plagues which the Lord visited upon the land of Egypt. In the light of Ezekiel 20:1-6, I suggest that the process of redemption whereby God visited plague after plague upon the Egyptians – in which the gods of Egypt were shown to be nothings – was intended in large part to instruct the Hebrews and wean their affections and loyalties off of what had become near and dear to them.

Could it be that many of us have essentially “gone native” in that what is important to the Americans has become important to us who are Christians? Is it possible that like the ancient Hebrews, we’ve forgotten that this land is not our home? Could it not be that we, like the Hebrews in Egypt, need to be reminded that the things our culture says is important – things in which many of us place a great deal of hope for our security, prosperity, and happiness – are actually nothings? Could it not be that we, like the Hebrews in Egypt, need to be delivered from the gods of America?

The Hebrews could only properly worship the one true God after they had some detoxifying “shock therapy.” I suggest that perhaps King Jesus, in his mercy, in his goodness, and in his love, is in the process of getting America out of the system of his people because then, with our hearts and minds seeing things as they really are, we will be freed to see the glorious majesty of Jesus in all his wonderful splendor. The gods of America can neither satisfy nor save, and I believe that King Jesus would have us weaned off of these nothings and to turn to himself, who alone can satisfy our deepest longings and heal our deepest hurts.

When Moses came and had his initial visit with Pharaoh, the immediate result was more difficulty for the Hebrews. What the latter didn’t then see was that the ensuing days was for their good. Because Jesus is King, and because he rules for the good of the church, every Christian can be hopeful about the future.

So I am satisfied with the results of the election!  My prayer is that you would see the remarkable love of Christ for his people in the results.

     In Him,

     Ben

“Pray that thy last days, and last works may be the best; and that when thou comest to die, thou mayest have nothing else to do but die.”
— Vavasor Powell

Is our hope really built on Christ?
Is Christ alone enough for you?
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