The closing paragraphs of an online Christianity Today article this week left me unsettled as we go to the polls to vote next week. The first three pages of the four page article were somewhat interesting, but when author Daniel Block turned on page 4 to “Moses’ Charter for Kingship in Deuteronomy 17:14-20, I starting thinking about our political leaders and candidates.
Block suggested from Moses’ instructions that “rulers [politicians] were to function as servants of their people.” “Moses,” he noted, “focused on the personal character of the king.” Not only that, “they were not to use their position of authority in self-interest.” As most of us would expect, Moses expected the leaders to believe in God and walk in his ways.
Looking at the broader record of the Old Testament and leaders, Block reminds us “God has never demanded moral perfection of those he thrusts into leadership roles.” Commenting specifically on the judges (leaders before there were kings), he notes “most were not models of political leadership upon which to lavish praise as much as an honest look at deeply flawed men [sic] whom God used in spite of themselves.”
As important as all these points are, Block’s summary seems most important to me: “the Israelite king’s primary function was to be a model citizen, so that people could look to him and declare, ‘I want to be like that person!’”
I certainly don’t think we can expect those we vote for to be perfect, but I do think we have every right to have high expectations of them. I believe they should be servants of the people and that they should not use their positions for self-interest. I think they should be good examples for us. I wish they would people we think highly of as well as people we wish we could be like.
Unfortunately, and sadly, I have not seen a lot of these qualities in very many of our political candidates and leaders recently in either party. Have you?
I think we all should vote. I also think we should follow the instruction of I Timothy 2:1-3, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.”
Feel free to leave a comment below and/or share this post on Facebook or other social media.
Bob, I also wish our leaders were men and women to look up to. If I can, I will try to find out if a candidate is a believer and that their actions match their faith. I am thankful that you did not talk politics from the pulpit while you were our pastor, but taught Gods word. Sometimes it is hard to reconcile our faith and politics. Just like it is easy to cherry pick scripture to our preference it is also with our faith and political points of view. I try to avoid these types of conversations as they rarely end well. I appreciate your encouragement to vote and pray for our elected officials. I hope all is well with you and your family. Happy fall!
LikeLiked by 1 person
You’re words are always inspiring, but I must say I don’t see a lot of God in our leadership. They are more concerned about their wallets than anything else.
LikeLiked by 1 person