But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had spoken to Moses. Exodus 9:12
A few years ago we had a massive ice storm here. Power was out to everything. No power for gas pumps, cell phone towers, restaurants or grocery stores in a hundred mile radius. My house had no power for two weeks. My wife and kids and I huddled around a kerosene heater and cooked beans on a camp stove because the store wasn’t open so we could buy anything else. It was scary but it was also like being in a different world. The difference between what we thought we had to have and what we actually had to have to survive became crystal clear. Keep that in mind as you read this:
There is a question that won’t stop nagging me. “Why are we here? Why are we where we are politically and culturally?” I suppose before I delve into that I should state unequivocally that I believe in a Sovereign God who rules over and, when it so pleases him, controls the affairs of men. Proverbs 21:1 says it this way, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
Then it stands to reason that if God wanted to move upon the people of a state like…say…I don’t know…Indiana (or even New York for that matter), and if God wanted to change the voting preferences of the people of that state, he could do so. If a Sovereign God wanted to convince a majority of the people to vote for Ted Cruz then Cruz would already be the nominee.
So why didn’t He? After all, it’s not as if Ted Cruz didn’t pray about it, I personally was one of thousands of members of the Ted Cruz prayer team. Tens of thousands prayed that God would make Ted Cruz the nominee. Why didn’t He?
I would never want to be irreverent, but the other day I got so upset about those questions that during my quiet time, I asked God directly. I have been reading through the Psalms again so when I didn’t get an audible answer, I opened my Bible to where the bookmark had been from the morning before. I was up to Psalm 33. I read this:
10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. 18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
God most often speaks to us, through is Word. After reading the scriptures I realized that I did in fact have at least a partial answer. Nobody knows what may happen over the next six months, and my interpretation may be proven totally wrong. But perhaps if Ted Cruz had won, it would only have brought this country a little time, time to fall back into a sense of calm, and a false sense of security.
I have always said my hope, our hope as a nation, is in Christ but have I truly believed it? Perhaps if Ted Cruz had won, the American church would have fallen back into the trap of assuming that temporary economic prosperity and security from terrorism would have been a solution to the deep seated problems the world faces. As an American Christian I have always felt I was relying on a great God, but in the back of my mind, just a little bit, have I actually been relying on the greatness of America?
Could it be that God knows full well that we American Christians are being marginalized by a culture that not only rejects our faith but is now openly hostile to us as individuals and that this marginalization will only become more intense under a Trump or a Clinton or a Sanders Presidency? And does he know that it will be then and only then when we will truly let go of what we have been clinging to and fully reach for Him?
If we reach that place, a place similar to the state we were in during the ice storm, only for longer and over much more than a one hundred mile radius, the distinction will become crystal clear between what people truly need and what they just thought they needed. I don’t think God is vindictive or is allowing the election to go as its going only to teach us a lesson. I think that He knows in a way that we cannot that it will only be when we reach that place of physical and even spiritual darkness that we stop being distracted and experience His light as it pierces with such sweetness. And He knows that then for the first time in generations we will experience the real power of our help, our hope and our shield. And in Him we will see the world transformed as the church did in olden times.