New President, Same King, Clear Duties
- Tuesday, November 25, 2008
So, it is official. Barack Obama will be our new president. Personally, I think it is marvelous that we have an African-American leader. I would have preferred one with a different political view, but it is still a landmark moment in our nation. Regardless of how we feel about this new day, I want to share with you some powerful truths that strike home with strange relevance for such a time as this.
As we know, the Apostle Paul commanded us to pray for those in authority - including our President-elect (1 Timothy 2:1). The foundation for our ability to engage in this kind of prayer is found in 1 Timothy 1:17, where it says: "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." Even though Paul was under the rule of the emperor Nero, he still knew who the King was. Whether Obama or McCain became our president, THE KING is still on His throne. Paul describes this King as "the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords" (1 Timothy 6:15). Just what kind of King is our God?
Eternal - The Bible reminds us that our lives are but a vapor that appear for a minute, and then vanish away. The term of any president, whether Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, is but a blip on the radar screen of life compared to our eternal King. We can have great confidence during these temporary days of earthly existence and human rule that our King is accomplishing eternal purposes for His glory.
Immortal - Our king is not mortal. He has no beginning or end. He has no "terms" of office. He cannot be deposed and is perfect in all He does. He will never fail or falter. While our presidents live in the beauty and dignity of the White House and are often extolled for their various accomplishments, our King is one "who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power" (1 Timothy 6:16).
Invisible - Our God exists and is at work beyond the things that we can see with our eyes or perceive with our senses. What we see is temporal but our God is active in the unseen reality of the eternal. As the old chorus said, "He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me." If we know and trust Him, we have the assurance that His work is occurring in a manner and realm that we do not comprehend or even understand in the moment.
Only Wise God - The jury is out on whether the wisdom of partisan politics, financial rescue plans, and presidential leadership will really work in this uncertain age. Yet, we know that our God alone is wise. As Paul writes in Romans 11:33-36:
"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen."
When we embrace and live by His wisdom from above, our behavior is "pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy" (James 3:17).
Honor and Glory - Paul not only invites us to give our King honor and glory - but declares that He will absolutely receive honor and glory forever and ever. That includes right now. We are assured that all things are working for His glory, whether or not we like it in the moment or agree with what we see. As Paul says it so clearly:
"For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence."
In case you missed it, let me remind you that this story of His glory includes, "thrones or dominions or principalities or powers." (A relevant application today!)
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